Concept & Context
The starting point of eu4you is the EU’s controversial management of the recent migration crisis
In his annual State of the Union, President Jean-Claude Juncker called for a common EU asylum and migrant policy, and a review of the current so-called Dublin system, which sees asylum seekers register at the first EU country in which they arrive. He warmly called for a proposal that would see 160.000 refugees redistributed to all member states remembering, “that Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee”, despite of what some politicians and leaders of the EU would like.
Starting from Junker’s generous advocacy of solidarity, eu4you develops an algorithm bound up in complex calculations of parameters that performs, instructions like a mechanical judge, calculating the fate of tens of thousands refugees. Based on luck, chance, fortune and a set of personal, social an economic factors, the algorithm plots a computational DNA formula that outlines the rate of a person to pursue and achieve his European dream; probing who gets to earn money, to buy food and who doesn’t, who gets their chance to be on the right side and earn their place in the sun and who should not.
A work of speculative design
Eu4you is a work of speculative design which goal is to stimulate dialogue and public awareness with regards to the migrant crisis offering visitors a disruptive speculative fiction questioning the management of the EU migration, much more concerned to provide accurate and up-to-date statistics for decision-making processes.
The speculative fiction behind eu4you highlights the fundamental issue of today’s governments ruled by statistics. It reflects on the crisis revealed by the migration situation in an age of big data and algorithmic governance presenting a disruptive mechanism of John Rawls distributive justice reflecting on the gaps on the fundamental values on which the EU is grounded. What would happen if John Rawls veil of ignorance rips, if the original position and the cunning veil of ignorance imagined by Rawls for a fair society is allocated to a judicious algorithm that knows all life details of people: place in society, class position and social status; natural assets and abilities, intelligence and strength and so on, and juggles with all this data for the best and worst of his own hazards? The first iteration of eu4you presents an installation designed to perform an algorithm that speculates on the fate of visitors for a Blue Golden Destiny on the EU soil. Once a visitor triggers the algorithm, a voice welcomes the visitor and the installation emits an aroma. It’s the EU smell, which grants visitors equal rights to integrate the EU and realize their dreams.
The algorithm is configured to leverage this advantage diffused by the aroma, crediting 50% equal opportunities to everyone. Gambling on ten of thousands destinies, probing their hunger and real motifs to be part of the European Dream, challenging the fate to be (or not) on the right side, of the EU, the algorithm produces a sample for each visitor showing the level of reliability to join the European Union.
Eu4you is intended for those who want to know their chances to be part of the EU. Doing so, the artwork confronts the public or visitor with the EU’s social reality, questioning the ambiguity of the EU, more and more spoiled by dilemmas raised by an ultra-liberal Europe, plagued by universal values as autonomy and solidarity, well-being and prosperity, peace and freedom.