Involuntary Community

(un)common dreams?

At Ambient Revolts, the 19th Berliner Gazette Annual Conference, our group of 12 participants formed a temporary involuntary community.

During our three day dreaming and collective work process, we formed to design a space, a game, and a curriculum that explored the way that AI and algorithmic technologies assemble us into “communities” in ways we are only just becoming aware of.

But before we worked, we dreamt…

We attempted to command our dreams. To tell us about the impact of tech companies on our collective unconscious. To escape the sorting, parceling and categorizations that we currently live with and through. At the hand of algorithms that learn us and help us become more of what they learn about. We had these dreams. Whose dream is this anyway?

we went to Disneyland against our will we robbed a bank we saw a self refilling bag of croissants without an inside of the croissant we had a family situation when one person was sick and one was a mediator and the sick family member gave up in a way we attended a get together with people who are present in our lives but the relationships were invented only for this dream including one brother who is not a brother in waking life we did the exercises but because we tried to force it it didn’t happen we used to be very afraid of snakes until two nights ago when we there was a big boa in our bed but we weren’t afraid people from the workshop were in a strange context where the colour temperature was very bright with a van gough stroke/filter covering it we were meeting people from a long time ago but didn’t get the purpose why they were there suddenly after so many years we were writing down the sense of a dream on a sheet of paper and then when we woke up the paper was empty we were in a home that was reminiscent of our childhood home in Detroit with fond memories attached to it but now it was beautiful and much bigger we were traveling to a countryside in a station wagon and we parked on a high slope and took a walk to a tower that was overlooking a town with very steep hills as we looked at the village we noticed that the water from the ocean was coming in and our feet were wet and there was an aquarium effect and a vision of being on a journey as well usually they are in black and white but this was in colour we were standing in front of the shore and a huge wave was coming from the horizon and suddenly we turned back and we were in an enclosed space filled with different colour shoes in a mountain/pile we were standing in the middle of this mountain of shoes and in one moment we realized that we were already dead and that’s it we dreamt of voting machines and cabbage and the machines had to be custom for us to fit our body so something had to be optimized so we have the right voting machine for our body configuration voting was some sort of sexual act

Involuntary Times A group of hackers is disrupting our daily lives...

A group of hackers is disrupting our daily lives…

In bringing down the cellular networks for hours randomly across the city they are creating an involuntary community for all of us.

By taking away some of our most commonly used digital tools like map apps , phone contacts and social media connections we have to look to those around us and learn how to communicate directly again.

As more cities begin to experience this phenomenon, chaos slowly turns into community, and inhabitants report a growing sense connection to other parts of the world by walking their familiar, local streets that have now been imprinted with the the names of another city.

As time goes on, we are re-entering social spaces long forgotten. The unknown hacker group can be seen as a group with neo-luddistic ideals, but the ability for strangers to form communities gives hope in the darkest of times.

Who is the real "we"? The five of us merged, generating someone new...

By creating shared online collective identities whose input comes from different sources, can we successfully confuse and disrupt social media algorithms?

Will this, in turn, influence our personal experiences and identities by confronting us with content we might not otherwise come across?

Will this sharing experience influence, shape or strengthen our relationships and our sense of connection within the group?

Jarie Stean is the social media sum of our five identities.

For a set period of 3 months, we will do an experiment: Together, we will manage Jarie Stean’s social media presence. We will, each at a time, take over the social media profiles connected to this identity, and use it, according to our individual tastes, interests, dislikes. One of us will take over it one day of the week, passing it on the next day. With each take-over, a totally new pattern of usage is introduced: new behaviors, interactions, preferences, etc.

How will this affect and confuse facebook, Instagram, spotify, Amazon’s, etc. algorithms, trained to tune in to our preferences and tastes, and how will it reflect back on each of us?

How will this affect our connection to each other and the group within this involuntary community that we were put into?     

Refusing involuntary community This space is left blank to encourage meditation on the question of how to refuse or subvert the involuntary communities imposed on us by artificial and non-artificial intelligences...

Involuntary community of artworks

An exhibition is in some way an involuntary community of works reunited by the will of the curator, or at least this particular one is.

The works forming this temporary community are by Eva & Franco Mattes; Sebastian Schmieg and Manuel Beltran. The use of Tor is requested to watch the videos of Eva & Franco Mattes (.onion).

Credits and License

This project was conceived at the 2018 annual conference of the Berliner Gazette AMBIENT REVOLTS. Guests: Iskra Geshoska, Eva Gonçalves, Stephanie Hanna, Jacob Hühn, Aude Launay, Victoria Martínez, Riho Matsuda, Julia Molin, Sara Moreira, André Rebentisch, Matthew Stender. Moderators: Cassie Thornton & Max Haiven.

All texts and images are licensed under CC BY 4.0. The images were taken by Norman Posselt at the AMBIENT REVOLTS conference.


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