A digital meditation, made using Bitsy by Adam Le Doux. In this piece, the user is one of a large team of human operators in a city-wide automated control centre, scanning through a synthetic map of ‘tasks’ generated by the system, and reading the comments appended by fellow operators, as they attempt to coordinate a response. Boredom, bad data, and Sisyphean taskings, as well as hoaxes, sensor vandalism, and signal noise, make up the bulk of the day-to-day tedium facing these operators, who are the unheralded ‘dull, dirty, back-end’ of the wondrous new ‘smart, self-regulating city’.

This piece contains vastly more text than can be typically encountered over the course of a single play session. Look for the dots, and follow the routes of the thick black lines, in order to navigate and interact with this piece.

A City is Not a Computer is named directly after the essay and book by scholar, theorist, and critic Shannon Mattern. Quotations from the essay can be found throughout a given playthrough, which critique the very scenario depicted in this piece, of urban planning being supposedly reducible to algorithms and data-gathering.

Plays with ambient sound.