New Rousseau Machine


New Rousseau Machine, 2021

This artwork visualizes the "Schrodinger's cat" phenomenon of popular will, in which changing the aggregation rules can simultaneously create different worldlines (outcomes) even if the voting content remains the same. It questions what popular will is and the importance of technologies used in collective decision-making. The next-generation governance system, "New Rousseau Machine" (NRM), is utilized to conduct a voting experiment and visualize its results.
Ten participants, including artists, researchers, architects, and citizens, voted on three agendas, each with three options. Among the 27 possible choices (i.e., worldlines), different worldlines were chosen according to each of the four aggregation rules, and these coexisting worldlines were constructed using water threads, screws, temporary fences, and Tepura, which are also symbolic of public works construction sites.
The NRM is being developed by the research team "METACITY," which explores possible urban forms. It is a blockchain-based system designed for use in an art project that aims to create a non-existent administrative district called "multilayer city 'Makuhari City'". The system allows for the free selection of a wide range of aggregation rules and decision-making processes, such as liquid democracy, and is attempting to incorporate mechanisms that reflect the "intent" of non-human entities as well.
Each circle consists of a single screw in the center, representing the chosen agenda outcome, and ten screws surrounding it, representing the voters. The circles are arranged radially from the center, with the second layer representing the first agenda's outcome, the third layer representing the second, and the fourth (outermost) layer representing the third. The orange water thread represents direct democracy (majority rule), green represents direct democracy (Borda), pink represents indirect democracy, and yellow represents liquid democracy. The meaning of each thread differs depending on the aggregation rule, but the most numerous choices in each case become the final selected worldlines.
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。


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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