THE FUTURE TENSE
Sound installation by Russell Perkins
The Fondation Fiminco is pleased to present The Future Tense, a sound installation by Russell Perkins, artist in residence, on 19 June at 3pm. Created specifically for the Réserves du Frac Île-de-France in Romainville, the piece will be performed for 24 hours.
“Requiem aeternam”—the first movement in the Catholic funeral mass—means eternal rest. The requiem is sung to mourn a death, but also to pray for its reversal in an imagined infinite future.
The Future Tense is an application that modifies the first movement of Johannes Ockeghem’s requiem (1420-1459), the oldest surviving polyphonic funeral mass. Artificial intelligence assists in extending the labor of grieving infinitely, but such that the requiem’s three voices never reach harmonic resolution.
The application is guided by the real movements of people. For this purpose, it draws from GPS data recorded across the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is data that accumulates whenever cell phone users move ; rest registers as the absence of information.
In a process that continually rewrites the requiem, the application traces forecasts of people’s movement patterns under confinement to decide its own future path. Designed for perpetual movement, it indefinitely forestalls and holds open the requiem’s ideological task.
The Future Tense was developed in collaboration with researchers at SONY CSL Paris, with support from the European Commission’s S+T+ARTS Initiative and the Fondation Fiminco.
Russell Perkins is an American artist, working across media and often collaboratively. Recent projects consider how risk and precarity register on individual bodies, and were made together with forensic researchers, professional poker players, a biochemical reagent manufacturer, and singers specializing in extended vocal techniques. As a 2018-2019 Queer|Art Fellow, Russell developed a site-specific work for New York’s LGBT Center with artist Nancy Brooks Brody. Recent and upcoming shows include Ordinary Time at OCDChinatown, and Omniscient: Queer Documentation in an Image Culture, at the Leslie-Lohman Museum. He received an MA in philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and an MFA from Hunter College in 2018.