Post-Apocalypse Smart City Lagoon (2018)
QR codes, 360 degree videos
The smart city has become the new utopia. Visions of urban spaces that are digitally monitored and navigated in a near-totalizing fashion are presented as a way to perfect everyday life in line with consumer culture’s key tropes of innovation, efficiency and growth. Post-Apocalypse Smart City Lagoon is a prototype for an alternate type of smart city. Instead of optimizing processes, it utilizes digital technology for catastrophic doomsaying in the sense of philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy's writing. Appropriating the QR code as an iconic element of smart cities, trash cans – mundane and often unappreciated artefacts of everyday public space – are connected to a digital space that hints at a post-apocalyptic scenario: after the sea has risen, trash cans float as reminders of the inevitable materiality of consumerism and hyper-tourism.
The work is a satellite of the Ideal Spaces Working Group exhibition at Palazzo Mora during the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, and was created as part of an online residency at isthisit? in London. Across Venice, QR codes have been attached to over 250 trashcans of three different types. When you scan a code with an Android smartphone it will load a 360 degree videoscape that shows trashcans of the same model you scanned, floating in a vast water mass, green like the Venice lagoon.