NTAA22 FINALIST: Peter Burr - Dirtscraper

Dirtscraper simulates an underground structure whose 'smart architecture' is overseen by artificial intelligences - spatial and social designers that observe, learn, and make changes to the system.

Unaware of the control exerted by these entities, residents move through spaces that reflect varied economies and class hierarchies. Through text pop-ups, members of its virtual community tell the tale of their surroundings, relationships, and mental health in an attempt to quell the constant noise of their precarious circumstances. Periodically this system will interject one of 48 cinematic interludes that reveal different facets of life in this decaying arcology. Over the course of many hours, the work exposes illusions surrounding AI.

Burr likes to explore what happens as technology ages. The myth of a machine threatening to destroy humanity has been around for ages, and he desires to offer alternatives to this tired narrative.