The future is both a certainty and an unknown territory, occupying much of humanity’s thought and activity. How will it unfold? Who controls it? When will it get here?

Creative art and design studio Electric Coffin is building an apparatus that aims to usher our entry into the future and illuminate the way forward. This Future Machine, a merger of old and new, familiar and alien, utilitarian and vestigial, heralds the role of creativity and collaborations in determining the shape of our future.

Future Machine is an evolving installation by Electric Coffin. Over its seven months at BAM, Future Machine will transform and expand through collaborations with local artists and makers, tradespeople, industry leaders, technology innovators, non-profits, and other creatives—demonstrating the potential for innovation that a blend of diverse voices invites.

The installation will consist of five distinct phases, all of which signal a stage of development in the unfolding of Future Machine: Idea, Fuel, Mechanics, Illumination, and Future. Collaborators will contribute their own unique components to each phase, a metaphor for the way unconventional collaborations work together to drive us forward. The installation will launch with a central energy source (the “Idea”). Through input from a diverse community of participants, the composite machine will gradually grow to fill the gallery. This immersive presentation of Electric Coffin’s BAM-sited creative laboratory invites visitors to witness the unfurling of an idea from start to finish as it builds upon the detritus of the past to embody new forms, and functions, and technologies.

A conversation series will be hosted around each phase to foster discussion around the themes in the installation.