The Future is Now is part three of the Future Trilogy. In November 2005, IKEA announced a new store opening in Edmonton to be accompanied by an offer of a significant price reduction on leather sofas. When 6000 people arrived to compete for the discount, a riot ensued, injuring 16 shoppers. The Future trilogy takes this event as the starting point for a speculative history of a fictional future. The Future for Less (2006) imagines the consumer riot as the foundation of a new totalitarian state religion imposing the tenets of modernism on the masses. In Better Future, Wolf-Shaped (2008), a rural cult perverts this official creed through pagan rituals of architectural worship performed at Celtic burial sites in Cornwall. The final instalment, The Future is Now (2009), similarly shot on 16mm colour film, stages the triumphant conquest of the industrial wasteland surrounding IKEA Edmonton as a popular uprising, revisiting the original riot as a future reenactment.
A lone insurgent is pursued by a representative of the state as she tries to assemble the multitude for a post-soviet mass spectacle. Hunted through the concrete cityscape of a multistory carpark and the brutalist architecture of the Barbican complex, she arrives at Edmonton with the motley crew of would be consumer revolutionaries, who come together to perform a choreography derived from footage of the original riot. Dressed in monochrome neo-constructivist Dada costumes, they form groupings, pushing boxes and gesticulating at fellow ‘shoppers’. Their repetitive movements converge in an ultimate confrontation with the uniformed police, which ends with the triumph of the flatpack utopia as the opposing forces join in a tableau of frozen victory. Exploring the possibility of collective action emerging from the Capitalist relations inherent in the consumer riot, the film forms an epic finale for the Future trilogy. Featuring music by Laibach. The Future is Now was commissioned by Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.
See Parts 1 and 2.