The narrative currently dominating the trajectory of the Hudson Yards development is one of technological progress, ‘smartness’ and prestige. This story charts a smooth, even path toward a bright future for Manhattan’s Far West Side; a “regeneration” of a formerly blighted area, a tabula rasa upon which to intensify New York City’s seemingly perennial quest to become ever-more inclusive of elite interests, and exclusive of almost everything else. Though this ‘smart city’ narrative seems likely to come to fruition — at least for a time — we propose a counter-narrative, situated within a speculative period of economic and material “decline” in early 22nd-century New York City. We wish to re-script this state-of-the-art landscape into something a bit rougher, aged, lived-in, challenging; a landscape that would also allow us to explore precarious and cooperative modes of urban intelligence, as to stop and reflect on our current urban intelligence problematics.
HOW MIGHT WE EXPERIENCE A DAY
IN THE YEAR 2117?
In order to bring this scenario to life, we developed a narrative focusing on the daily life of one Hudson Yards resident from the year 2117.
An assemblage of Skylar’s everyday objects -- a collection of basic necessities, personal mementos, and interactive technology common to a 22nd-century New Yorker. Contained on Skylar’s climate-proof case; clockwise: Dumb City Manifesto (a mysterious pamphlet from a group of anti-tech radical); paper map of Hudson River Transit Authority Ferry Service (a guide to navigating a flooding region); 3D printed Intersense case and audio-visual interface (a mixed-reality contact lens and earbud interface, with personalized A.I. assistant); 3D printed lunchbox (an assortment of bio-engineered HudVal Roaches, Colombian chocolate and Osaka Seaweed); cassette with encoded Intersense audio-visual feed (a durable form of analog data storage for a precarious digital future).
Audio Component: Intersense feed