What will the future of love look like?

Roanne van Voorst’s new book is out

In times of AI and robotification, what does the future of love look like? With technology, we are exploring new types of intimacy. But which one are we losing? Will we be able to marry a robot or make someone fall in love with you with a simple pill? Last week ‘futures-anthropologist’ Roanne van Voorst’s new book Met z’n zessen in bed came out (literally translated as: With six in bed), published by Uitgeverij Podium.

Roanne van Voorst is an ‘anthropologist of the future’. As such, for her new book she investigated the future of love, infatuation and affection. Through philosophical literature, interviews, and above all: by means of her own anthropological field-work. She took love pills, connected to a virtual friend bot through an app, visited a robot brothel, flirted with artificial intelligence and grew attached to her ‘smart’ vacuum cleaner. In short, she tried it all to answer the question: what will love in the future look like? And how will it impact us as humans?

As Roanne van Voorst argues in her new book, being able to connect with others is the essence of being human: without connection we do not grow, we do not learn, we do not flourish, we do not die. But love is changing rapidly at the moment. Medicines are being invented that can make you fall in love or keep you in love, robots exist to have sex with, and laws are being fought to allow you to marry more than two people. At the same time, there is a growing group of people who consciously remain alone: the sologamists.


Want to know more?

Roanne van Voorst spoke at the last IMPAKT Festival 2021 Modern Love about the future of Intimacy, telling us about the research she did for her new book ‘Met z’n zessen in bed

You can rewatch the keynote talk here

The IMPAKT Festival 2021 Modern Love took place from 3-7 November and was curated by Katerina Gregos en Arjon Dunnewind. In our on-demand society, we increasingly meet, date and love online. A future in which algorithms, artificial intelligence and online interactions determine our romantic experiences does not seem so far away. Elderly already get cuddly robots against loneliness and platforms like OnlyFans and social media offer limitless possibilities to perform our perfect self and engage in virtual love fantasies. How does this change the way we meet, date, love — or even break up? How can artists help us understand the way in which new technologies are affecting the most human of emotions —love?

Here you can als rewatch more programmes from the festival, including talks, panels and performances with philosopher and sociologist Eva Illouz, philosopher and activist Srecko Horvat, pioneer artist AA Bronson, and many more

Look back at the 2021 Festival


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