Pelin Tan
Voices (Towards Other Institutions) #21

Dwelling of AI Communist Farmers by architect Dimitris Theodoropoulos developed with Pelin Tan (Athens).
The Revolt

AI-slave revolt started in the floating factories on the oceans. Some of them, who were holding the data map of the archived seeds, escaped with the bees to the dispersed parts of the earth. We were wondering… the outcome of the epoch of Anthropocene in some centuries ago (that already started somewhere around the year of 2018) changed the orbits of the cosmography and the changes of the climates influenced the way of farming in land and oceans… so in what way they were going to farm and where.

The traditional secrets of farming and working hours of a farmer in different moon and sun evolution have been transformed. This fostered the technology but as well the understanding of the old dichotomy of body and nature. When farming got automated by the invention of the human replica farmers; the replicas started to archive the old recipes of growing vegetables, living with bees and seeds that lasted from the old epoch; secretly from the humans.

The humans would have never imagined that the replicas who were developed to get more effective products, faster in more time – labor efficiency – will collaborate and merge with “bees” and escape to find a fair place. Centuries ago the first version replicas were the robots who were used to clean contaminated brownfields that may have had oil spills or heavy metal content. They have been used by humans in different farms…in post-fordist seafood farms in South China or by honey companies. The labor exploitation was huge and the robots were not aware that they have been in use to get higher efficiency of labor with less work. Centuries later, when replicas have learned work and organisation from the bees, they started to understand that automated labor and extraction was repetitive and not adapting to the transforming environment.

We, few architects who designed most of the living and working spaces of those replicas, were in shock when we heard that they started a revolt against work hours and labor exploitation. We thought maybe we were late to something. We wanted to find them. And join them.

Fisherwomen, Fengmasan Village (南沙冯马三村) in Nansha (南沙), Pearl River Delta, video by Pelin Tan (China)

“​We began our new lives underground. Located five hundred meters below the surface, our city had space for over one million residents. Many others just like it were scattered across every continent. Here, I finished primary school and entered secondary school. My schooling concentrated on science and engineering. Art, philosophy, and other deemed inessential had been minimised or removed from the curriculum. Humanity had time for distractions. It was the busiest era in human history. Everyone had work to do and the work was never finished.​”
Cixin Liu, The Wandering Earth

“​Through a Marxist lens, beekeeping and honey extraction offers a tangible comparison to property, exploitation and surplus value - the key elements of late-capitalism. In 2013 I decided to stop harvesting honey. I wanted the bees to just be, and survive in this city without having someone take their honey (labour). ‘Harvesting’ doesn’t quite seem the right word, as the bees have already done the hard work: foraging; harvesting and travelling great distances to support the colony.​”
Michael Leung, Hong Kong

Pelin Tan, is a sociologist based in Turkey and researcher on methodology and field of critical spatial practices, alternative pedagogies, and conflict territories. 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Art&Activism. Senior researcher of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research. Tan co-directed films about the future of art and society with artist Anton Vidokle.

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