The Future Mind and Art

Rodney Chang, 1978



Interaction among time, environment, and species have led to an ascending order of mental complexity not only between genre, but also within the different species themselves. Thus the future man will be the product of the ongoing, accumulating new levels of consciousness designed to adapt to his ever-changing environmental demands. Extrasensory perception may be the first sign of another future common mental ability, or it may be a vestigial reminder of a once common ability of a distinct ancestor. People often say, "DON'T THINK TOO MUCH!" because this not only can lead to the truth but is dangerous because it leads to change - a thinking change that may be recorded genetically and thus permanently influence the essence of the human mind.

The future man will have a greater mental potential (relative to us) for responding to the challenges of his time. With the passage of thousands of years between kinfolk, a genetic gap develops and decreases the mutual comprehension between people of different eras. Each era of man thinks differently and thus solves the problems of living in its own characteristic way.

The contemporary man is evolving mentally along a direction of analytical thinking. Our fantasy levels keep us human as we are drawn relentlessly by the forces of cognitive and rational thinking abilities that create power and control over our environment and others. Maybe a million years from now man no longer will know "love," "emotion," or "war." He'll be the perfect living computer. But, as I said, we all judge from a certain aesthetic bias that may be inappropriate to the other's preferred taste, that of the future mind.

If aliens exist, then probably, too, there are some that are much more intelligent than us, to the extent that they are relatively incomprehensible to us because they have been around and evolving for zillions of years before us. Those things in UFOs probably have higher mental faculties than we mere earthlings have; they have survived the test of time much longer than us. They have come to us, we have not come to them. The alien that walks out of the saucer toward a stricken you probably would not react emotionally. His mental computer may be busy collecting your physical and mental entirety (including your first grade teacher's name) before he reached you to determine your faith. The only way that our forces could knock off a flying saucer is if the latter has not done its homework. For it is obvious that before one sends out saucers to stake out new horizons, someone/thing must sit down and learn the level of mentality in the particular cone of galactic space that is about to be explored. They probably have more sophisticated and differentiated areas of study/academia, such as whole college campuses for the singe department of Comparative Galactic Psychology!

As the landscape and architecture become more simplistically rectilinear, so do the art objects that combine with the interior forms of the architectural form. Art of the next century may focus on the environmental sensitivity that we're currently attempting to create in ourselves. And this developed sensitivity will be recorded and appreciated in the temples of our art. We may finally accept the fact that nature is the greatest artist. The nature of nature determined compositional rules. And nature, as artists often depart from the common drab of green trees and blue oceans, dresses up frequently into something more daring, such as the rainbow, the prism, the diamond, the neon tetra fish, and the sunset. Maybe our future art will be more in tune/guidance with nature. It may change its cycles just like the seasons. Traditional rules for dividing the art from the non-art of the world will break down. Anything can be viewed as art if the perceiver chooses to wear those particular lenses of interpretation. There will be a struggle between established art and anti-art guerillas.

As man becomes more at home in the crowded urban metropolis, his art will change, evolve accordingly. New forms will emerge and be assimilated by the rest through the ball-carrying insight of that society's contemporary artistic geniuses. The new forms will emerge through the factories of crowd-taste guidance research. From all these new forms will follow the identity of a future changed world and a personal attachment to the specific time. And new products, packaged in the new taste extensions, make their way into the marketplace and under the future Christmas tree. Artists, technicians, scientists, and philosophers will together marry technology so that each is indispensable to the other. The artist will no longer be just a craftsman but also a deliberate historian on his field of human thinking called aesthetics.