Dan O'Hara shares his memories of Virtual Futures 1994. Virtual Futures '94 was the first of the three VF events held at the University of Warwick. Smaller and less unwieldy than the carnivalesque behemoth that followed in 1995, it still attracted some 300 attendees. Its success led Eric Cassidy and; myself to organize the Thomas Pynchon: Schizophrenia & Social Control conference which took place that November, almost just to keep ourselves busy inbetween VF events. The speed at which these events could be put together was dictated entirely by the internet; Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, was slowly starting to gain
Virtual Futures '95, held at Warwick University, assembled some of the greatest philosophers, futurologists and seers from across the globe, to discuss the implications of new and future communications technologies on society, politics and self-mutilation! For all of the intellectual fluff conferences like these produce, Virtual Futures '95 proved to be one of the most exciting events held this year. This was no hardware show, there were no revolutionary pieces of technology on display, nor any hard sell - this was pure 'ramification', thoughts on the consequences of revolutionary technology. As such there was a fair amount of science fiction and humbug.
Ben Greenaway asks: how willing are you to prepare for a future where only those who fully embrace technology will survive. "THE MELTDOWN of metropolitan education systems in the near future is accompanied by the quasi-punctual bottom-up takeover of academic institutions, precipitating their mutation into amnesiac cataspace-exploration zones and bases for manufacturing cyberian soft-weaponry." This quote, from a presentation at Virtual Futures 1994, sums it all up rather nicely. Eric Cassidy, Otto Imken and Dan O'Hara, three post-graduates at Warwick University in the Philosophy and Literature departments, are currently in the final stages of organising VF95. When it happens, you'll be