Five SXSW events that will restore your faith in the future

Anna-Kay Reeves

Robots are taking our jobs. People are becoming more disconnected. A lot of things are said to be happening that make the future seem about as appealing as the last slice of leftover pizza: You know it’ll be stale, but you’re going to eat it anyway. But from March 12 through 18, SXSW will prove that the world is still full of wonder. 

The Best is Yet to Come, Digital Renaissance

March 9 5–6 p.m. 101 Red River

The first day of SXSW will start off with an optimistic bang with this tech talk focused on the future of robotics. Not the robot future you’ve heard about where humans have become serfs to their robot overlords — a bright future. This event looks at technology as a force that has historically liberated people from “menial tasks” and proposes that this trend will continue, allowing more time for creative expression and personal fulfillment.

Pearl Earl 

March 12 12–12:40 a.m. The Sidewinder

There are some things that never fail to be inspirational. Two of those things are dance music and women kicking butt. For that reason, this all-female quartet of psychedelic rockers is guaranteed to get your hopes up. Categorically, Pearl Earl is classified as rock, but their sound includes psychedelic and pop influences, creating perfect pump-up tracks. Strong female groups making great music like Pearl Earl make the horizon of music and equality look bright. This performance will get your blood pumping in the moment and give you new music to rock out to in the patriarchy-defying future. 

Extreme Bionics: The Future of Human Ability

March 12 9:30-10:30 a.m. 500 E Cesar Chavez

Beyond having full ability, this event envisions the possibilities of human beings as super-able thanks to technology. Advances in biomechatronics, which allow lost abilities to be restored and enhanced, mean that not only could those with disabilities regain use of lost or failing body parts but that the human body can be made more effective than nature has ever allowed. This science isn’t limited to the body but applies to the mind as well. Technology could be used in the future to help people think more quickly and clearly, as well as experience sight, taste, touch and sound as never before.

Trap Star Yoga

March 13 9:30–10:30 a.m. JW Marriott Room 208

Brought to you by Yoga N Da Hood, this event combines the worlds of yoga and trap music for a revolution in wellness. The playlist that will help you push through this Power Yoga event consists of trap songs with themes of empowerment and self worth. If living in a world where people orchestrate such weird and wonderful combinations doesn’t give you enough hope, there’s more. Yoga N Da Hood is a nonprofit geared toward providing health and wellness education to low-income neighborhoods. This combination of health, compassion and lit tracks makes right now and the future an undeniably great time to be alive.

Immerse Yourself: AR & VR in Museums and the Arts

March 15 11 a.m.–12 p.m. JW Marriott Salon 3-4

Imagine not just looking at Van Gogh’s Starry Night but actually looking up and staring into the orange and yellow paint of the Starry sky. This event will examine the opportunities using AR and VR to capture works of art and museum experiences can offer us in the future, potentially allowing people to experience art immersively given the pace of development of augmented reality tools.