What happens to technological visions when they do not come true? Do they just disappear or is there a place where they live on until they eventually may be materialized? Or are there phantom futures that might forever stay at a certain distance from us and can we even feel nostalgia for them?
Robert Walker is a fictitious character who remembers the visions of space that dominated the American public imagination until well into the 1980s. He expected to follow the Voyager probes into the unknown and spend part of his life in space. Fifteen years later, he realized that this future is unlikely to happen and he started a space program of his own. He starts to collects technological predictions that had been made for the present year and conserves the ones that didn't come true. In an annual ritual that mimics the trip to one of envisioned space colonies, he visits a storage facility in which he keeps his 'ship', a semi-autonomous archive that will travel through time until it gets recovered and the mission ends.
Played by Martin Marlow, Walker explores the psychological effects of technological promises, many of which are bound to not, at least immediately, materialize. Like many of the early pioneers of a new technologies, in his mind the lines between scientific thinking and fiction are not as clearly drawn. What underlies his imaginary space ship, however, is the realization that narratives of the future in every form are an integral part of what scholar Norman M. Klein calls 'fantastic infrastructure' and therefore is as important as every other resource at our disposal.