The highlight of 'Conference for the Curious' was the keynote speech of Kevin Kelly, co-founder of tech-magazine 'Wired' and author of bestsellers such as 'What Technology Wants' and more recently 'The Inevitable' (2016). In his latest book, Kelly explores the twelve driving technological forces defining our lives for the next thirty years. With 'The Inevitable' he offers an optimistic, yet also realistic roadmap for the future, based on three decades of personal experience and involvement in digital technology and the internet.

'Senses & Sensors', the theme of STRP Biennale 2017 was partly inspired by Kelly's ideas. In his book 'The Inevitable', interaction is one of twelve inevitable technological developments shaping our future. Kelly distinguishes three different changes: an increase in intimacy (which means technology moves even closer towards us than a phone or wristwatch and will always be switched 'on'), increased immersion: 'computation so close that we are inside it', and, lastly but most importantly, Kelly speaks of a general increase in 'senses':
We will keep adding new sensors and senses to the things we make. Of course, everything will get eyes (vision is almost free), and hearing, but one by one we can add superhuman senses such as GPS location sensing, heat detection, X-ray vision, diverse molecule sensitivity, or smell. These permit our creations to respond to us, to interact with us, and to adapt themselves to our uses. Interactivity, by definition, is two way, so this sensing elevates our interactions with technology.

Through these extended senses and sensors, we are able to perceive that which, up-until-recently, had been invisible to us. Including both the small, such as the molecular and nano-technological, as well as the big, ranging from radio waves to the end of the Milky Way. It also means that on the one hand, we registering the deeper layers of reality on a more profound level, and on the other hand, we are surrounding ourselves with realities that are becoming more and more augmented and virtual.