New Rousseau Machine


New Rousseau Machine, 2021

If the rules for aggregating voting results change, the final outcomes may also change, meaning different public opinions can coexist simultaneously. If the way we interact with these changes, it could transform the world. Here, this is referred to as the "Schrodinger's cat" phenomenon of public opinion. "New Rousseau Machine" challenges the importance and dangers of the tools that support democracy, even before considering public opinion or the voting subject.
Using the next-generation governance system known as the 'New Rousseau Machine' (NRM), the installation showcases the results of voting experiments conducted by ten volunteers including artists, researchers, architects, and citizens. These participants voted on three agendas, each with three options, illustrating the 27 possible choices or 'world lines'. The selected world lines for each of the four aggregation rules are simultaneously represented using construction site materials such as plumb lines, screws, temporary fences, and label tapes, symbolizing public works.
Developed by the research collective 'METACITY', which explores possible urban forms, NRM is a blockchain-based system designed for an art project aimed at creating the fictional administrative district 'Multi-layered City "Makuhari City"'. It allows for the selection of various aggregation rules and decision-making processes, including liquid democracy, and can incorporate 'will' from non-human sources such as AI and nature.
Each circle in the installation is made up of a central screw representing the selected outcome for an agenda, surrounded by ten screws depicting the voters. These circles are arranged radiantly from the center, with the second layer showing the results of the first agenda, the third layer the second, and the fourth layer (outermost) the third. The colored plumb lines—orange for direct democracy (majority rule), green for direct democracy (Borda), pink for indirect democracy, and yellow for liquid democracy—each represent different aggregation rules. The meaning of each line varies with the rule, but the option with the most lines in each becomes the ultimately chosen world line.
投票結果を集約するルールが変わると、最終的な投票結果も変わる可能性、つまり異なる民意が同時並行に存在し、そこへの触れ方が変われば、世界が変わる可能性がある。それをここでは、民意の「シュレディンガーの猫」的現象と呼ぶ。《New Rousseau Machine》は、世論や投票対象以前に、民主主義を支える道具立ての重要性とその危険性について投げかける。
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コレクティブ「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AIや自然などの人間以外の「意思」も反映できる。


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

Related Links