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What is the Pittsburgh Future Archive?

The Future Archive is a project started by artist Lindsey Peck Scherloum in 2020.  The project grew from speculative documentation to eventually, in the year 2096, become a city agency in Pittsburg tasked with preserving visions of the future as stepping stones to build the future we all want to see, and preserving knowledge of the past to understand how we got where we are.  Our projects include time travel data gathering, visioning sessions, and analysis for other collaborating agencies. The information we collect has been used by think-tanks, lobbyists, and governmental bodies to shape policy.

What is going to happen with my story?

We’re collecting information to be part of the archive we take back to the year 2132 and which will be available to the public. Your contribution may also be part of a display in July 2021 at the shipping container where we landed on Ft Duquesne Blvd at 6th St, or might be part of a walking tour that the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art is creating in 2022.  It is meant to be anonymous so you don't have to share your name or defining info unless you really want to. 

How can I participate?
Check the schedule here to see where and when we will be collecting stories downtown, or visit our 2021 temporary residence on Ft. Duquesne Blvd at 6th St. You can also call (412) 214-0255 and leave a message or email with a statement about and images of the Allegheny River.  Include a location and answer one or more of the following questions: 

What memories do you have of the Allegheny? 

What stories or information about the Allegheny do you share with your children? 

What will happen here in the future/what will the Allegheny be like in 100 years?

What role does the Allegheny have in this city?

How has the Allegheny impacted you or people generally?

What do you think the Allegheny thinks of us? What is its personality?

What's the future like?

In the year 2132, things are good.  Just like it has always been, we live better than we ever have, but that's because we all made major shifts to our lifestyle.  There were some bad times we went through and some serious reckoning. We can't get into all that because of disruption of the time space continuum, but we can tell you this: The rivers flood all the time and are unpredictable: wise, and respected but moody roommates.  It is very hot much of the year so we have made a lot of technology that harnesses the heat and sun's energy.  Also, American people are less isolated, better connected to community IRL and more equitably connected to resources regardless of their identity. 

Why did you come back to 2021 of all years?

We have identified 2021 as one of a number of the great benchmarks, before culture shifted significantly. So we are collecting information from this time to understand the state of the river, the relationships people had to it in their past and present, and the visions people had of the future.  Other significant dates we’re returning to include 1740AD, 1420AD, and all the way back to 1124 BC.

What is that you're wearing?

Our intel was a little late about normal attire in 2021 though we predicted the weather had already shifted enough that the solar adaptive technology we use today was already standard. Natural forces are such an important part of our lives, and the weather is so dramatic and unpredictable, that we were forced to make some quick adaptations that turned into game changing technology. Our staff wear The Future Archive standard issue uniform. The fabric is linen woven with solar conductive thread that reflects heat and transfers solar energy into an electric cooling system and storage in microscopic battery packs. We wear face shields because of water borne illnesses , for uv protection, and to provide minimal protection against airborne pathogens which are common. Clorophyll conversion cases use photosynthesis to power portables.

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