Seven Stories of Mellonopolis –
Mellonopolis的七个故事 Studio Forage, ALINE Studio This is a story of a near-future city and its cunning inhabitants. Seven Stories of Mellonopolis presents a series of speculative situations in which AI could be implemented in cities and humans may develop cunning methods and behaviors to subvert this technology for their own individual self-interest. This theme is prompted from the curator’s enquiry into how AI (a predominate enabler of the smart city concept) will affect citizens, communities, behaviors of individuals and masses, design practices, and wider groups in the future. We simply do not know. And despite what others may say, neither do they.
What we do know, is that humans will be cunning. They will be creative and adaptive. They will make systems work for them and find ways to beat the machine. This is neither a grand utopian or dystopian vision of the future. Instead, it is a portrait of the banal, everyday reality of how normal people with human nature find ways to get what they want in a city augmented with sophisticated yet ultimately naive artificial intelligence.
With AI already a part of our lives, but general artificial intelligence a long way off, the project invites the audience to question what life may be like in the not quite smart enough, smart city. Furthermore, the project responds to a variety of discussion points proposed by the curatorial team, including how the new technology will change people’s behaviors as well as how communities will re-appropriate technology.
We wonder if the cities of tomorrow will all be the same. Will technology take the same route as identical architecture, algorithms shared between municipalities and technological solutions integrated across global cities? Or will we humans find ways to break the system – to make it our own and transform its identity?
From pretending to be a child to cross the road quicker to disguising pigeons as crows to avoid paying a fine, we invite you to meet the residents of Mellonopolis and discover their mischievous relationship in the smart city of the not too distant future. The city may be smart, but the residents will always be smarter.
Credits: Michael Pecirno, Charles Rickleton, Xinglin Sun, Sebastian Koseda, Laura Gordon
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