New Rousseau Machine

Caption: exhibition
Exhibition: “Jack into the Noösphere” of Chiba City Festival of Arts
Caption: Title
METACITY, New Rousseau Machine, 2021
Caption: Medium
leveling strings, screws, voting and aggregation system “New Rousseau Machine", blacklights, labels printed by Tepla (tape printing machine), temporary enclosures
Caption: Dimentions
5,520(W) x 3,000(H) cm


New Rousseau Machine, 2021

This work visualizes the "Schrodinger's cat” phenomenon of popular will version, in which different world lines (results) exist simultaneously when the aggregation rules are changed, even though the voting content is the same. We question the meaning of "popular will” and emphasize the importance of the methods used in the decision-making processes of a group of people.
In this project, a voting experiment was conducted using a next-generation governance system, "New Rousseau Machine (NRM)”. A visualization of the experiment’s results has been displayed here. Ten volunteers comprising of artists, researchers, architects, and citizens, voted on three agendas, with three choices each. Of the possible 27 outcomes (i.e. alternate realities), four alternate realities based on four different voting methods have been highlighted. They have been simultaneously displayed utilizing leveling strings, screws, and temporary enclosures used at construction sites, which are symbolic of public works projects.
NRM is being developed by the research team, METACITY, which explores possible forms of cities. It is a blockchain based system that will be used in an art project to create a fictional administrative district, the Multi-Layered City “Makuhari”. NRM allows the free selection of various voting methods and decision making processes, including liquid democracy, and is also aiming to introduce a mechanism to reflect the “will” of non-human entities.
Each circle comprises one screw in the middle which expresses the voting choice of the agenda, and ten surrounding screws which represent the ten voters. The circles are placed in a radial pattern from the center. The second layer of circles represents the voting results of the first agenda, the third layer represents the voting results of the second agenda, and the fourth layer (the outer rim) represents the voting results of the third agenda. The four-string colors represent different outcomes based on the voting method. Orange, green, pink and yellow express plurality voting, direct democracy, the Borda count, and liquid democracy respectively. The meaning of each string differs according to the voting method, but the choice with the most strings is the final reality chosen through that specific method.
次世代ガバナンスシステム「New Rousseau Machine」(以下、NRM)を用いて投票実験し、その結果を可視化した。アーティストや研究者、建築家や市民など有志10名が、3つの選択肢をそれぞれ持つ3つのアジェンダに対して投票。存在しうる27つの選択肢(つまり世界線)のうち、4つの集約ルールごとに選ばれた世界線があり、それらが同時に存在する様子を公共事業の象徴とも言える工事現場で使用する水糸やネジ、仮囲い、テプラで構成されている。
NRM は、ありうる都市のカタチを探求するリサーチチーム「METACITY」が研究開発を進めている。実在しない行政区「多層都市『幕張市』」を作るアートプロジェクトでの利用を想定した、ブロックチェーンベースのシステムになる。液体民主制など多種多様な集約ルールや意思決定プロセスを自由に選択でき、また人間以外の「意思」も反映する仕組みを導入しようとしている。


METACITY, New Rousseau Machine, 2021
leveling strings, screws, voting and aggregation system “New Rousseau Machine", blacklights, labels printed by Tepla (tape printing machine), temporary enclosures
5,520(W) x 3,000(H) cm


Director: Ryuta Aoki
Concept Design: Yasushi Sakai, Ryuta Aoki, Masahiro Sasaki, Yusuke Fujiwara
Aggregation Rule System Design & Dev: Yasushi Sakai
Distributed File System Design & Dev: Yusuke Fujiwara
ID System design & Dev: Masahiro Sasaki
System Dev & Runtime Env Setup: Ryuta Aoki
Material Selection: Masahiro Sasaki, Ryuta Aoki
Planning Support: Hiroki Yoshida
Production Cooperation: MIT Media Lab, City Science Group, archiroid Inc.
Special Thanks: Masayoshi Mitsui

Past Exhibitions

July 24th – Aug. 9th, 2021: Exhibition: Jack into the Noösphere

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