...in your mailbox?
Last week, a cross-section of Hawaii's influential business, political and community leaders received a series of mysterious postcards in the mail -- no return address supplied -- from the year 02036.
On Monday, it was an official (non-diplomatic) invitation from the sovereign "Commonwealth of Hawai'i".
On Tuesday came a promotional flyer, in the form of a vintage Hawaiian postcard, from a virtual reality company advertising a trademarked, immersive electronic version of the mythical "Blue Hawaii" of the 01960s.
On Wednesday, a souvenir postcard appeared from the Two Seasons Underwater Hotel and Casino, adjacent to the East-West Maui Bridge in buzzing "Mauihattan".
Finally, Thursday brought a plea for help addressed to the United Nations, headquartered in China, on behalf of a beleaguered Hawaii suffering from mob rule and guerrilla warfare in the wake of Hurricane Cyrus.
The following Sunday, 27 May, the Honolulu Advertiser ran this article investigating the campaign. (You can see the front side of each postcard here.) The cards were also distributed to be found by other unsuspecting members of the public, in places such as cafes and bookstores around Honolulu.
This was an experimental exercise in "ambient foresight" -- bringing alternative futures to the streets, and into people's lives in unexpected ways. The signs so far encourage us to think that this modest effort did indeed prompt a degree of reflection on the part of recipients, about the various directions Hawaii could take over the next generation or so.
FoundFutures is the name of the project, which is likely to manifest in other ways as time goes on. Many thanks to all those who helped Jake and I make this possible, most notably our exceptionally talented graphic designers, Yumi Vong (postcards) and Matt Jensen (website).
[Update 6 December 02007: replaced original -- dead -- link to Advertiser article with new -- permanent? -- one]