World’s Fair 2.0 reclaims the current home of the New York Hall of Science, re-envisioning the concepts that transformed Fitzgerald’s famous “valley of ashes” into Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. The fairs, through exhibits such as Futurama, The Road of Tomorrow, and Hall of Electrical Living, introduced visitors to products and ideas ranging from domestic robots and dishwashers to superhighways and space colonies, and as such, were seminal moments in the national psyche and global consciousness.
Looking to this rich cultural and technological history, Jahn and Rothenberg worked with 14 teens, and together they used innovations in mobile and augmented reality technology to ask: what are the continuities between utopian visions from the past and today’s vision for the future?
Using a smartphone, visitors can experience World’s Fair 2.0 at locations in and around NYSCI. At the Rocket Park, for example, visitors will encounter visions for future living, from the “liberatory” promise of the electric dishwasher to single family space pods. Available both as a self-guided tour and teen-produced mobile game–where zombies thwart players in their time-traveling quest to explore the history of the future–World’s Fair 2.0 stages interventions into the past and future, regenerating conceptual tools to interact with the present.
The editor of Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices, Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer and community organizer. Her work has been presented at venues such as the MIT Museum, The Power Plant (Toronto), ICA Philadelphia, The National Fine Art Museum of Taiwan, New Museum (NYC), ISEA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Science, and more. In 2009, she co-founded REV-, an organization dedicated to socially-engaged art, design and pedagogy.
Stephanie Rothenberg is an artist and educator using performance, installation and networked media to create provocative interactions that question the boundaries and social constructs of manufactured desires. Her work has been exhibited at venues and festivals including the Whitney Museum of American Art, MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., Sundance Film Festival, ISEA in Helsinki, Belfast, and LABoral Center for Art and Industry in Gijon, Spain. She is artistic co-director of REV-.