Personal Assistant of the Collapsing Nation of Pyria

A durable personal assistant designed to help the amateur survivalist out of post-apocalyptic pinches
30 Apr 2022

The prob­lem with how the end of the world is usu­al­ly depict­ed is that it's always a bit­ter end. And if by "world" we mean ther­mo-indus­tri­al civ­i­liza­tions in par­tic­u­lar, then it's as if we couldn't pic­ture a decent exis­tence with­out the mar­ket rul­ing over it — should the pil­lars of west­ern moder­ni­ty fail, sure­ly this would spell doom, gloom, and more doom. 

But maybe not. Imag­ine for an instant a "good col­lapse." One where fac­ing the many predica­ments that lurk on an ever-clos­er hori­zon, mod­ern soci­ety would — rather than des­per­ate­ly hope for the next app to solve the cli­mate cri­sis — seek to retire itself grace­ful­ly. Off the game board. In a sort of accep­tance of civ­i­liza­tion­al fail­ure. And sum­mon­ing the extra­or­di­nary capa­bil­i­ties it has for wag­ing war onto oth­ers, the same pow­ers would be mus­tered to end moder­ni­ty itself; all while ensur­ing peo­ple sur­vive, albeit with less extrav­a­gant lifestyles. Now pic­ture the indus­try, the econ­o­my, the peo­ple, all com­ing togeth­er to achieve mass dein­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and state­less­ness, but hap­pi­ly. Sus­tain­ing the anal­o­gy to war, this could be achieved by train­ing cit­i­zens and man­u­fac­tur­ing not only the com­modi­ties, but also the con­di­tions of their survival.

The per­son­al assis­tant shown here is one of many objects designed for the pre­pared­ness and sur­vival of Pyria's cit­i­zens — the fic­tion­al col­laps­ing state at the core of the project 'GRASIAS — the Good Col­lapse'. It's an attempt at reex­plor­ing the shape and pur­pose of com­pu­ta­tion in the con­text of sur­vival — assum­ing the orga­nized end of soci­ety couldn't be just some dig­i­tal detox. Orig­i­nal­ly named 'Aidador Per­son­al per Sur­vive' or 'APSU', it is built as a sol­id, durable, and ener­gy effi­cient piece of hard­ware where appar­ent low-tech is met with the crème de la crème of Pyria's chip man­u­fac­tur­ing. Ulti­mate­ly, APSU is ded­i­cat­ed to assist­ing the less prepped by offer­ing a mas­sive knowl­edge base of prac­ti­cal tips: how to for­age, how to build var­i­ous use­ful items, fix things, but also med­ical and emo­tion­al assistance.

Voiced by

Che­lo Lucas Valdés