In 2018, a New York Times editorial titled ‘Welcome To The Post-Text Future’ predicted that society’s predominant form of communication would not be the written word but video. “The defining narrative of our online moment concerns the decline of text,” wrote tech columnist Farhad Manjoo. “And the exploding reach and power of audio and video.”
Three years later and that future isn’t just approaching. It’s here.
The pandemic has accelerated society’s reliance on video in ways both obvious and obscure. Video’s virtues aren’t relegated to just entertainment or escapism as it once was in the heyday of the idiot box. In 2021 it is foundational to the way we communicate, learn, exercise, do business or turn out that perfectly perky sourdough. From Peloton classes and Zoom meetings to online lectures and telehealth conferencing, there seems no domain of life video hasn’t improved or pervaded – pixel by perfect pixel.
It makes sense then that as lockdowns intensified, artists and institutions alike turned to technology to do what they couldn’t – enter other people’s lives and living rooms. Sydney Opera House included, which presents a new suite of digital programming with Outlines, a series of forward-thinking works uniting artists and technologists reimagining the future of performance and storytelling.