Travel back to a lost world of more radical imagination in Mika Taanila’s vivid recollection of ‘60s avant-gardism. The Future is Not What it Used to Be paints a detailed portrait of artist, filmmaker and musician Erkki Kurenniemi, reviving the bygone futurism of the decade. Documenting early electronic music, experimental film and early microcomputing, the film laments the passing of those unrealised utopias, while also reopening enquiries into 21st-century science.
Journeying back to move forward, we follow Kurenniemi's early career through to his twilight years, when genius and eccentricity have become hard to distinguish. The high technological fascination of Kurenniemi’s pioneering earlier work has culminated in a “manic collection project” where the artist meticulously records details of his daily life, with a view to being recreated as a machine after his death. The film is a parable for the 21st century’s retro obsession, but also resurrects an idealism now barely imaginable. It celebrates a lost technological future where computing would serve everyone, and where man and machine would together reach new heights of art and science.