If we already have problems finding our way through the city due to the heavy use of technology devices, how would we remember episodes of our lives when this memories are just part of an extensive digital media archive?
To highlight how dependent we have become on technology and how unconscious we are of the processes behind these devices we rely on, this thought experiment invites the audience to imagine Smart Cities as more than an efficient system but one that is also capable of dreaming.
We live in a time of big media production and bigger data shadows. Once DNA storage goes mass consumption, the media avalanche resulting from an archival fever will lead to a unprecedented volume of data. Already now, data and memory are constantly shifting meanings on our archival practices. The use of the “save” word in terms of digital storage already changes our perception of the values of our memory as well as when we address “memory capacity” for the a storage limit of an electronic device.
Either we carefully decide of what endures or we risk being quietly blinded by today’s growing noise of information. Moreover, the obstacle of future implications of technological advances on digital memory - opposed to the degenerative, forgetful and erasable human memory - lies in accessing the data, not in reading it.
How will we relate with memory when the behavioural targeting and the invisible algorithmic editing on the web is brought to the physical world? Will the smart cities’ inductive reasoning on big data take a corporate approach to cities, standardising, discriminating and repressing or will it allow cultural difference, complexities and synergies?
MnemoStreets is a speculative service design which explores the storyteller vocation of the smart cities. On this social fiction, memories became solely media records and every individual is a connected user building an API of yourself. The system assists people remembering their past by triggering specific content through pervasive media, on a curated serendipity process.
By discussing the ethical and cultural ideas following the dazzle of the Smart Cities, the aim of this project is to discuss the bias to a commodification of user profiles and as so, how our memory and past is subject to undergo economic and political pressures. Additionally, to provoke designers for a critical and sensitive approach when designing for automated intelligence in order to avoid systemic inequality.
A film by Liana Lessa
With Marie Sophie Rautenberg and Tristan Bumm
Cinematographers Alice Dalgalarrondo and Konstantin von Sichart
Sound Operator Jo Furch
Thanks to John Lindner, Carolina Woortman and Marina Mendes.