Benera and Estefan
The Democracy Device, 2020
3D print, polylactic acid (PLA)

"A digital model of an ancient Greek jury-allotment device (kleroterion) printed at full size is an artefact produced with computational methods; the very trigger of the discourse the object embodies. Namely the role of computation in the rise, or rather the decline of democracy.

Kleroterion was used for randomized selection of jurors, and helped to avoid possible biases by making choices aleatory. A computational device is utterly different in the way it functions in comparison, for its essence being programmability. Both machines though have in common that they stand between us and our political decisions, whether annulling personal interests, or manipulating the users’ opinion via collecting their data, often without consent, and targeting them with persuasive content.

Up until now archeology has discovered only incomplete specimen of kleroterions: a flaw that can easily be interpreted as the erosion of democracy itself. Although its contemporary cause is not a mechanical device, but the ways contemporary information technologies are being used and abused."

Text by: Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás
Computer graphics, sketch for the 3D printed sculpture: Sergiu Negulici