“Democratopia” by Lina Dovydenaite

  • ©, Lina Dovydenaite, Democratopia



Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    Film, La Traverse, Alfortville,  May 9 – 27 (Continuous projection in the Salon Bleu during the opening hours of the contemporary art center La Traverse) and Le Cube Garges, May 15 – 18 May, 17:00 h

    Lina Dovydenaite is a selected ISEA2023 artist

    Democratopia’s film concept lies in the realm between dystopia and utopia, envisioning a data-driven direct democracy in futuristic cities. The artist Lina Dovydenaite transcends current societal norms and speculates on an alternative reality that is neither wholly right nor wrong. In one of these cities, where data-driven democracy is the norm, Lina imagines public virtual spaces where citizens shape the development of their city and architecture through the use of AI architecture agents and other technologies. Rather than predicting or proposing a future scenario, she asks “what if” everyone was politically active and had full influence in decision-making.

    The film presents a model of a new society where every citizen enjoys equal status and can freely express themselves through technology. Artificial intelligence is harnessed to serve the community, transforming their needs and aspirations into practical and architectural solutions, both in virtual and real-world environments.

    From YT:

    Democratopia – somewhere between dystopia and utopia, the concept of data driven direct democracy in virtual spaces of futuristic city scales.

    It is not possible to “predict” THE future, it is possible to forecast alternative futures, and then to envision, design and move towards preferred futures.
    _Joseph N. Pelton

    I think beyond the given context of society, and speculate on a future alternative reality that is neither right nor wrong. Within one of the futuristic cities where data-driven democracy prevails, I speculate future public virtual space where people meet to shape how their city/city architecture is developing. Using AI architecture agent and other technologies. I am not trying to predict the future or propose a future scenario, I am just speculating WHAT IF the society where everyone is politically active where people have full influence on decision-making.
    The model of new society is the society where all citizens are equal, are able to express themselves fully and without limits through technologies, and where A.I. is put at the service of the community in order to transform citizens needs or aspirations into concrete solutions and even into architectural solution in the virtual as well as in the real world.
    I’ve gone into detail about how people might take advantage of social decision-making and open boundaries. While some of the example cities seem dystopian, I explicitly state that people are (and must be) free to leave. (This suggests that KEPO, for example, has a very small male population, and probably has some sort of “underground railroad” to get males out of the city as swiftly as possible.)

    I am solving problems as well as inventing new ones:
    The initial design spec for the system is clearly meant to prevent corruption and problematic behavior by political elites. Human error can also result in big system-level problems.
    Also, AI relies on the data that someone decided was worth collecting, and which was weighted in a certain manner, etc. It is a representation of the world, and the process of building such representation is in itself deeply political. It is unclear if we can ever escape this through participative processes, transparency, etc. If not, how do we compel those who are not willing to comply with the law?The AI can be used for better self-knowledge and improvement, but who will develop the content and knowledge taught by AI as the best and most appropriate? Who decides when an AI system has sufficiently minimized bias so that it can be safely released for use? What happens when the system works within its rules but does not provide for some of its citizens? What happens when the system is insufficient?
    Film itself can be a good seed for collective imagination of alternative narratives. Also one of my intentions was to create a vehicle for public debate.Too much of today’s political discourse is focused on small changes to what is, and we seem to be running short on the grand visions.



All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: