The supermarket is one of the most prodigious inventions of this past century. A ubiquitous presence in our everyday lives, the pinnacle of carbon form consumerism, but, in itself, a hazardous space that is unsafe for the elderly, the immunocompromised: the everyday shopper. The stage for our existential struggles, but, still a site of extreme urgency and importance throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Node, a sentient A.I. entity that replaces the supermarket with a more sustainable food production line. It proposes a 90 degrees reroute of the supply chain and the abolishing of this relic from our carbon present.
The virus exposed the structural deficiencies that ran through the entire food procurement process. The ruthless centralization and widening division between food production and consumption was rendered problematic when supply chains and purchase points were compromised. The Pandemic was a highlighter making it bluntly apparent what the supermarket is and the flows that feed into it by disrupting them.
Shopping trips are an essential social function, spurred by cutting-edge farming techniques, seemingly efficient supply chains, and behavioral influence studies. With the evolution of energy, the majority of the human workforce steered away from food production and our relationship with food became one limited to consumption, making the supermarket the leading form of grocery distribution.
So terrifyingly efficient, the supermarket dominates how we consume human production. The power that supermarkets wield, deciding what is edible and what is not based on a system that simply optimizes to maximize profit, therefore creating unsustainable humans that are dependent on unsustainable products moved around the world in unsustainable ways.
It is imperative therefore to rethink the supermarket, not as an endpoint but as a stepping stone, shifting towards the goal of nutritional fulfillment, rethinking the way we are treating the supply chain.
The Node is a network that uses the very systems that have been produced by the supermarket. The Node carefully optimizes and subvert-ly creates desires, but, substituting the goals of the existing supply chains of volatility reduction and profit maximization with the goal of creating a sustainable human.
The Node knows exactly when to, how to, and whom to distribute the food, it uses ingredients as a wield to execute a cultural shift, diversifying your diet and managing desires by possible combinations from available resources.