Delta City would stand above the ruins of Old Detroit as the realization of the dream for an efficient, clean, and above all, harmonious, city. But most importantly, it would offer an “unending project with unending rewards” for Omni Consumer Products, the only steward in service to the city’s maintenance, safety, and security.
Minority report doubles down on its futuristic imaginations. Cops with jetpacks, crawling spider drones, and (of course) automated cars. While the movie deserves credit for its unusual highway design, the most striking image of futuristic imagination is the productive promise of the factory sequence: cars assembled in an (otherwise) empty factory.
While self-driving cars may soon be an everyday automative reality, they’ve long been a robust logistical fantasy. While films like Minority Report and I, Robot both toy with the idea, it has never been so wonderfully realized as in Total Recall (1990). In marrying a creepy animatronic driver to an autonomous vehicle with poor voice recognition, it seems to have provided a grimly accurate speculation for our coming transportive future.
The Doctor and the Tardis are nearly synonymous. While the ability to travel freely in time and space seems like it would provide instantaneous access, the Tardis is often waylaid by inconvenient landing locations, temporal miscalculations, and strangely inaccessible locales.
When we think of “infrastructure,” what usually come to mind are roads, electricity grids, telephone lines, and water pipes. Not surprisingly, the growing body of research on large technological systems and infrastructures has mostly focused on electricity, water supply, communications, and transportation. But what insights can be gained when systems of food production, provision, and consumption are approached as an infrastructure?
Papers, Please, the self-proclaimed “dystopian document thriller,” places players in the role of immigration inspector for the glorious nation of Arstotzka. With the country only recently having reopened its border, you soon find your desk overflowing with the forms, passports, visas, and other documents of the hopeful travelers who line up each and every morning. While this would seem to offer an unappealing afternoon of gameplay, your bureaucratic business is soon laden with unforeseen ramifications for life and death as you process a seemingly endless stream of suicide bombers, smugglers, and survivors.
This overlooked masterpiece carefully choreographs the internal and external conflicts of the men assigned to the transportation of unstable quantities of nitroglycerin.