2022–23 Ticket Information

FAB Gallery, 1-1 Fine Arts Building
University of Alberta
(780) 492-2081

Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Friday

Admission is free. Masks are strongly recommended indoors on the University of Alberta campus.


January 17 – February 10, 2023

FAB Gallery
Main Floor

Opening Reception

University of Alberta faculty, staff, students and invited guests
Tuesday, January 17
FAB Gallery

Artist's Talk

Tuesday, January 17
Room FAB 2-20

All are invited to hear Jill Miller discuss the works on display in FUTURE PERFECT. This presentation is part of the Visual Arts & Design Forum (VADF) Winter 2023 Speaker Series. Please join us. (view poster)

About the Exhibit

In grammar, the term future perfect refers to actions that have not yet occurred but that will occur and be completed before another future event (e.g., the theme of this exhibition will have become clear by the time you finish reading this text). Future perfect as a tense is compelling because it presupposes humans' abilities to understand their behavior well enough to make predictions about upcoming realities—it is at once full of promise and rife with wishful thinking. Where do we draw the line between self-delusion and optimism? What happens when humans make statements about the future that are unfulfilled?

In the exhibition FUTURE PERFECT, artist Jill Miller uses artificial intelligence (AI) software and digital technologies to imagine alternate realities and visualize fantasies. Her projects are bound together by humor: an AI exacts revenge on a musician who put Miller’s unauthorized photograph on his album cover; the artist infiltrates a popular video game platform marketed toward adolescents to expose unusual behavior; a retro-futuristic installation collapses time and space by merging a 1970s space colony landscape with contemporary video game furniture; and a large, inflatable sculpture uses the materials and technology of children’s birthday-party bouncy houses to manifest anxiety. Playful up front, Miller’s work reveals fissures in the facade of our postpandemic, anthropocenic world, referencing vanishing ecosystems, enduring gender inequality, and declining mental health. The four works featured oscillate between naivete and skepticism, and embody the “sad clown” paradox in which humor is a veneer that masks uneasiness. The exhibition raises the question, when we reach the future, how close to perfect will it have been?

About the Artist

Jill Miller is a professor at University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Art Practice. She is a visual artist who works across a wide range of media, from digital media to public art, and many hybrids in between. She often collaborates with individuals and local communities in the form of public interventions, workshops, and participatory community projects. Her work is playful, and she uses humor as a strategy for opening up meaningful conversations about difficult subjects. In past work, she: lived in the remote wilderness in search of the mythical creature Bigfoot, assisted mothers who were harassed for breastfeeding in public, and organized teenage girls who were closing the gender gap by learning to edit Wikipedia. Miller is the founding director of Platform Artspace at UC Berkeley, and she is on the executive committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM). Her work has been shown internationally and collected in public institutions worldwide including CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.

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