G80 is an interactive installation which proposes a contemporary interpretation of Richard Buckminster Fuller's "World Game": a strategy simulation tool inspired by War Games, which aimed at "an equitable distribution of resources" on a planetary scale. Created in the cybernetic era in the early 1960s, it embodies the promise of computation and mathematical models for solving socio-political and ecological problems such as overpopulation, energy, consumption, access to services, resources, etc.
Today with the arrival of supercomputers, the multiplication of data and the advent of artificial intelligence, the realisation of such a total regulation project might be achievable.
In opposition to this technocratic hypothesis, G80 questions the absurdity of the idea itself, which is rooted in an exhausted techno-capitalist system that refuses to look beyond mathematical models. How far are we willing to go with these new computations to optimise global governance?
The artwork features a console with a matrix of 80 motorised sliders reminiscent of a control room. Each slider corresponds to a variable, with its name engraved on a plate. At the ends of the sliders, the "+" and "-" signs indicate the stakes or values.
While some variables are directly inspired by those developed by Buckminster and his students, others, new ones, shed light on the major issues of our time, such as ecology, migration, gender equality, or the development of technological innovations.
In this device, the sliders act as both inputs and outputs. Visitors are invited to interact with the work and playfully stabilise the world by changing the value of each variable. While making an initial change they soon realise that all the sliders correlate with each other and that the variables are forming changing patterns without their intervention, suggesting interference from other agencies.
When no visitors interfere with the matrix, it activates and alters the position of the 80 sliders to form geometric patterns, seemingly taunting the visitors who momentarily engaged with the game.
With no visual manifestations other than the names of the variables and their quantities, the audience is thus encouraged to mentally visualise the concrete impact their choices could have on the Earth.
G80 is an artwork commissioned by Mudac and will be exhibited for the first time at Somerset House in London as part of the "Global Game" exhibition from June 1st to 25th. It will also be featured in the exhibition "Objective Earth: Design for our Planet" at Plateforme 10 in September 2023.
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