Case study (Underground infrastructure I) is an artwork that highlights the current and future use of artificial intelligence in the context of territorial planning and infrastructure development. It was first exhibited as part of Fragmentin's 2023 exhibition "Subsoil speculations" at Alpine Museum in Bern.
This first case study (of an ongoing series) focuses on the underground network of water pipes in a famous ski resort in Switzerland. What could this mountain town, whose water needs are rapidly increasing, look like in the future?
Using real cartographic data and a text command provided by the authors, artificial intelligence (AI) speculates on the future development of this hydraulic network by visually generating its possible expansion.
At the center of the work, visitors can see the original document, a visual testimony of the hydrosystem. Around it, AI has drawn the extension of the pipes in a homogeneous manner, sometimes precisely copying the style of the initial map, and other times taking the liberty to invent new intriguing graphic codes. Is the nuance between the two perceptible? Has the machine considered the protection of ecosystems during its underground expansion?
The dark blue lines represent public water distribution, while the light ones indicate private pipelines (luxury hotels, private residences, etc.). This distinction underlines the major challenges associated with the exploitation of a natural resource that is becoming scarce as the climate changes.
Formally, this wall piece is composed of interlaced squares similar to those generated by computer graphics software. At the heart of this mapping, a screen continuously displays provocative visions of infrastructure developments performed by AI, offering a glimpse of a future under construction.
Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture
Swiss Cultural Fund UK
Art Foundation Pax
Canton de Vaud
Ville de Lausanne
Ville de Renens
Migros pourcent culturel
Arts at CERN
Hospitalité artistique de Saint-François
Swiss Alpine Club SAC