Fear & Wonder Experiment
Kyle Branchesi, Molly Mason, Alina Nazmeeva, Helena Rong, Qianhui Liang
Exhibited at the MIT Media Lab, Gallery 9, and the MIT Long Lounge.
In a post-labor society, CONTENT speculates on future worlds within urban and rural China. Extrapolating current trends of absurdity and exhibitionism in talk shows and apps like Kuaishou, this is a world in which entertainment is currency and attention is everything. In exchange for living in automated cities, citizens adopt jobs of producing social media content, sometimes leading them on inane adventures and ultimately forcing them to help construct their worlds in order to develop meaningful lives.
The buildings themselves take on the need to share these stories, broadcasting the inhabitants to the streets below through embedded LED systems which ultimately change the atmosphere of the city itself. This is their city symphony. The factory of fun, the city, is powered by the feedback loop of data, social scores: hearts and likes, and the automation of production of non-content. The street becomes a stage and a space of consumption, as deterritorialized and fluctuating screen-texture/texture becomes the context and the culture for the people. The interior: former home, refuge, shelter: mutates into a space for production, a cubicle of fun. The domesticity of the interior is confused with the workspace, as the production of fun is confused with labor. The city and the citizens are the manifestation of the industrial entertainment complex, crowd-produced, crowd-consumed.