New Rousseau Machine (2021)


New Rousseau Machine

Take the same voting results, but apply different voting methods, and you will find that multiple realities (voting outcomes) can exist simultaneously. 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 and screws used at construction sites.
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.
本作品は、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ものになる。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工事現場で使用される水糸とネジで表現している。
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。


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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