Guerrilla futures are foresight experiments in the wild, on the streets, with unsuspecting public (e.g.The New York Times Special Edition by the Yes Men) The benefit of guerrilla futures are the spontaneous reactions of the participants, as well as the secondary (media) responses that these interventions seem to elicit. Below are some questions for guerilla futurists, that might also apply for prehearsals:
From: The Futures of Everyday Life Stuart Candy:
Below are some of the questions, as suggested by the foregoing analysis, that a guerrilla futurist might ask of her efforts, towards evaluating their engagement potential, which is a prerequisite for political impact. These are not overarching, masterly interrogations – ‘effectiveness’ is not a binary matter subject to an objective threshold of success – but, fittingly, a piecemeal, tactical checklist:
- To which spaces of display and/or performance can we gain access, and what are the risks and potentials afforded by each? (impact = attention × duration)
- When is the most appropriate moment, in terms of scheduling, to stage the intervention? Is it dependent on some broader context or event (e.g. an election, an international round of talks), or is one date as good as any other? Are there times of day, week, or month at which the risks are lowest or the rewards are highest?
- How long does the artifact need to stay as installed? If it can be rapidly photographed, and then removed, the photographic evidence may enjoy an ‘eternal afterlife’, even if the assemblage it captured lasted only an instant. Have we planned for sufficient documentation for the afterlife of the project?
- What materials and media should be used? Can they be reused, moved around and redeployed, or must they necessarily be treated as ‘disposable’? Are our resources being used wisely? This may seem a prosaic or distastefully non-theoretical consideration, but in guerrilla futures interventions, one must take account of cost. The expenses associated with a project are not only a key ingredient separating the ingenious from the wasteful, but this concern is also ultimately differentiates the conditions enabling the strategic from those necessitating the tactical!
- What is the main point of the story? Who are the primary and secondary audiences, and is the real or most meaningful impact that of the encounter for the former, or does it really make sense only when seen in context later?
- Is a physical intervention, with the labour-intensiveness that entails, strictly necessary, or there an easier way to accomplish comparable results, for example online?