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The Democracy Machine!
(Video game/lighting/posters/dialogue, 2015)
The Democracy Machine! is a performative sculpture that gives visitors the opportunity to experience the thrill of democracy in action, in a competitive game that challenges participants to work together toward understanding a better society.
The Machine! comprises of 2 electronic voting stations, connected to a gaming screen that displays the current debate question, gives a timer for each timed round, and tallies their running cumulative score.
The game begins when participants step up to their voting station. A question is displayed on the screen, and each participant has 10 seconds to select 'Yes', or 'No', depending on if they agree with the presented debate question. If all participants agree, they receive a point and move on to the next question. If the participants disagree, then a buzzer sounds and the timer starts. Participants then have 120 seconds to reach a consensus through debate and discussion together in whatever way they think best. If they do manage to reach a consensus then they score a point and move on to the next question. If at the end of the timer they are unable to reach an agreement, a second buzzer sounds and the participants are out of the game.
Debate topics for the game are drawn from social media using the hashtag #Democracymachine.
The work has so far been presented in two different versions - the full version includes a large-scale light box and sign, while the scaled down version uses posters.
The Machine! has been presented at: BE Festival, Birmingham (UK) 23-27.06.15, GENERATE! Festival, Tubingen (Germany) 16-18.10.15, and PLAY/II Video & Performance Festival, Cologne (Germany) 28.11.15 — 09.01.16
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adam j scarborough ©