When I see the future

About Us

When I see the Future is a platform for supporting collaborative research and digital methodologies in the visual arts. Through the practice and research methods of its founders and collaborators, it promotes interdisciplinary collaborations between visual artists, researchers, data activists, institutions, and digital technologists.


Developed over the course of two years, When I see the Future evolved from a series of projects developed by Heba Y. Amin and Anthony Downey. These included the publication of Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (Sternberg Press, 2020) and Amin’s eponymous solo show for the Mosaic Rooms London (2020-21). In parallel with the curation of the exhibition and ongoing research for their book, Amin and Downey co-developed an extended digital programme to host collaborative online projects as part of the exhibition’s extended research outputs.

As this digital project progresses, When I see the Future… will continue the online programme and operate as an opportunity for collaborators and researchers to further explore the potential of digital methodologies in the arts. Planned research projects for 2021 and 2022 will include an enquiry into the sustainability of research infrastructures, pedagogy and digital methodologies, delivering digital surveillance and censorship, and the impact of communication technologies on freedom of speech and dissent.

As the online platform explores these concerns it will capture the variety of responses and material produced to ensure that researchers, students and practitioners alike can access the information and participate in its future development as we work towards further projects in 2023 and 2024.

Heba Y. Amin

Heba Y. Amin is a multi-media artist and Professor of Art at the Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the Mizna journal, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War. Heba Y. Amin was awarded the 2020 Sussmann Artist Award for artists committed to the idealof democracy and antifascism, and was selected as a Field of Vision Fellow, NYC (2019). Amin’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions, her latest publication Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (ed. Anthony Downey) was recently published by Sternberg Press (2020) and her works and interventions have been covered by The New York Times, The Guardianthe Intercept, and BBC among others.

Anthony Downey

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is the Cultural Lead and Co-Investigator on a four year AHRC funded research project that focuses on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan (2020-2024). He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and the Journal of Digital War, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019–ongoing). He is currently writing up his forthcoming volume Unbearable States: Digital Media and Cultural Activism in a Post-Digital Age (2021).

This platform was made possible by The Mosaic Rooms, a leading London-based non-profit cultural organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary culture from and about the Arab world and beyond. They provide an international platform for the arts, particularly new work, and create opportunities for collaboration and professional development between artists, collectives and organisations from the Arab world and the UK. They do this through free contemporary art exhibitions, multidisciplinary events, artist residencies and their engagement programme. The Mosaic Rooms are a project of the A.M. Qattan Foundation.

We would like to thank, in particular, Angelina Radaković (The Mosaic Rooms Curator) and Siegrun Salmanian (The Mosaic Rooms Programme & Gallery Coordinator) for their support in organising the overall exhibition and project. We would additionally like to thank Lisa Deml (Platform Coordinator and Online Editor – When I see the future) for her help in organising the public programme.