City as neural net

City as neural net

February 26, 2021

The laboratory #ГородКакНейросеть (City as neural net) was presented at the Norilsk Museum. Experts from Moscow studied the public consciousness of the Norilsk people using the World Wide Web.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. They had to find out what Norilsk looks like on the global Internet and by what queries in search engines one can guess a Norilsk resident.

The participants of the laboratory talked about the difficulties with the local Internet, remembered with nostalgia the local social networks where they met, talked and got married. The modern principles of operation and algorithms for searching in the World Wide Web became kind of a group therapy for the townspeople.

In two session days, the experts managed to collect the Norilsk archive with their current news, a map of residents’ routes and local contextual advertising, answers to questions about why they live in Norilsk, how to become a Norilsk citizen and who can be written about on Wikipedia. Personal stories and memories gained volume, being embodied in a prototype of a virtual exhibition.

And there is another laboratory ahead. On February 27 and 28, the Norilsk Museum will host the third public laboratory within the framework of the City Museum by Whole City’s Efforts (#МузейГородаВсемГородом) project, which won the Museum. The Power of Place competition for projects of the Vladimir Potanin Charitable Foundation’s Museums Without Borders charity program. Museum workers invite you to figure out how to read the language of everyday urban practices, and in hot pursuit to make an express exhibition about Norilsk.

“The text is not only our words. The stories of the townspeople are combined into the local text of the city. Anthropologists know how to read and interpret it, revealing sometimes unobvious things. For example, what does the choice of route, style of dress, or weather discussion tell about a person’s character? The laboratory will be devoted to how to ‘read’ the city and tell about it (and about yourself) using methods such as ethnography, in-depth interviews and storytelling”, they say in the Norilsk Museum.

Text: Maria Sokolova, Photo: Norilsk Museum

February 26, 2021

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