In this sci-fi video essay, Bahar Noorizadeh tracks the Soviet Union’s attempts to build a fully automated planned economy. These Socialist cybernetic experiments are part of an alternative history of networks and economic and political trajectories that the artist uses to speculate on future technocultural utopias. In tracing this alternate time-space continuum of networks, Noorizadeh critically observes how sluggish materialism gave way to broadband idealism, as giant corporations now channel all things via regulated networks of efficient data transfer. The piece ends on a provocative note. The possibility of a computational utopia beyond the state and free market is not ruled out, but proposed as a planned piece of economic science fiction.
The work is part of the culture program related to Canada’s Guest of Honour presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada.