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Whenever We Start To Predict The Future, We End Up Describing The Past

Updated by Shilpa Lama

“Whenever we try to predict the future, we end up describing the past.” 

It’s a misconception that the future lies in front of us and the past behind — we are no more linear as time travelers than apples are shaped straight. I prefer a notion where we move laterally in circles and cycles, weaving between possibilities and eventualities, where deja vu and past lives are all mixed in the same consciousness.

If we try to move forward in time, we only succeed at recycling not only our past but the past of those before us. 

Perhaps the future is the clear shard of the past, a diamond sliver of compressed scars and experience, carbonized from eons of pressure into a near-elemental form. The future always looks sparkling and radiant, seemingly both perfect and inevitable, clear as pure light itself. 

In reality, the future is never what we think it will be and, by definition, perpetually out of reach. Art interprets and eases the pain of an unreachable future. The shard of art lies next to the shard of the future, sometimes illuminating, sometimes refracting its light and creating a prism of possibilities.


In order to compliment the future, then art must remain oblique like a kaleidoscope, not like a pane of glass. The art of the future will need to resist the efficiency and minimalism of thought and motion that technology and economy blindly rush towards. Art must force not only the artist, but the audience, through meandering paths, scenic routes, and a series of dead ends in search of not a destination but a reflection and consideration of where exactly it is we are going.

Self-awareness is man’s mental equivalent of an opposable thumb; art is the tool we wield to exercise that awareness and ask critical questions like “why?” Just as Goya and Lennon in their respective centuries used art to invite us to consider the folly of war, the art of the future must carry a heavier burden of history and more powerfully stand in the way of efficiency. 

The art of the future will face the forces of singularity, the combining and converging of many elements from the government to technology to finance into seamless arcs of efficiency.

These arcs will rightfully be heralded as breakthroughs for society and provide solutions to the world’s problems, removing friction, aligning interests, and increasing productivity. Art must stand in the way. Art must lay down in the tracks and create the friction that allows society to pause the engine of growth long enough to consider the bloody stain beneath. 

The art of the future will face the forces of transcendence, the perpetual rising above and abstraction of issues in search of homogenization and equality of all. This will be seen as openness and holding of space and a celebration of the long tail of identity. But, again, art must stand in the way and create the questions and conflict that can give voice to a muted culture.


Finally, art of the future will face the forces of antimatter. Increased digitization will increase the pace of art production and distance the creator from the surface, all while expanding the realm of art (for the better).

Art must stand in the way of this antimatter. The true epiphany will not be the dematerialization of art in favor of digital, but the merging of physical and digital into parallel simultaneous experiences and objects that reinforce and strengthen each other. 

If the artists of the future wish to continue, they will need to look backward as well as forwards and stand as the guardians of creativity in the face of progress.

(Editor’s note: This article and the corresponding NFT (NFT#189) were produced as a part of BeInCrypto’s Star Edition NFT Series.  This exciting NFT series consists of nine pieces of digital art by Exquisite Workers, all of which will be auctioned off alongside letters written by industry professionals sharing their thoughts on the future of NFTs. More on that below.)

Introducing BeInCrypto Star Edition NFT#189

To celebrate its third year as a globally trusted blockchain and cryptocurrency news platform, BeInCrypto is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) charity auction in collaboration with Exquisite Workers. All proceeds generated from the auction will go to the Open Earth Foundation, a non-profit on a mission to leverage the latest trends in digital technology to help increase planetary resilience.

The Star Edition NFT Series includes nine pieces of digital art by Exquisite Workers. Each of these NFTs will be auctioned off alongside letters written by industry professionals sharting their thoughts on the future of NFTs.

Finite by Anna Dart is NFT#189 in the series.

NFT#189: Finite

With a deep magnetism and light, Anna Dart brings colors to the letter to the future by Jehan Chu, co-Founder of Social Alpha Foundation, who explores the role of the art of the future in the face of improved output and productivity.

About Anna Dart

Exploring time, space, energy, consciousness, and all being through undulating flows of colors, Anna Dart creates sensual works which activate the imaginary and strike you with magnetic characters searching for a better universal human connection with sense of purpose, light and excellence.

Promoting the convergence of art and technological innovations as a means to further the development of digital humanism, she manipulates her physical artworks using advanced digital techniques. Interested in cross-pollinating disciplines of visual, performing arts, and science even further, Anna undertook her studies in drama and choreography in the city of Barcelona.

ICOM member, Anna Dart mostly studied art by visiting museums around the globe. Anna promotes ecological and social sustainability as well as mental health taking part in multiple international charity projects. Anna Dart is the co-founder of “NFT to stay ” global mission and today leads Exquisite Workers’ growth in Metaverse.


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Jehan Chu is co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kenetic, a blockchain Venture Capital and cryptocurrency trading firm based in Hong Kong. A former front-end developer, he started investing in cryptocurrency in 2013 and has invested and supported over 100 projects. Jehan founded the Ethereum HK community (2014), co-Founded the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong (2014) and founded the Hyperledger HK community (2016). Jehan serves as co-Chairman of the Hong Kong Fintech Association Blockchain Committee, is enrolled in the Kauffman Fellows Program, is a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science and member of the Global Patrons Board of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He also sits on the Board of Para Site Art Space and is co-Founder and Board member of Social Alpha Foundation, a blockchain/social impact non-profit. Jehan holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and MA from Hong Kong University.

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