Clemens Schöll / Berlin & Leipzig, Germany — Jul 4, 2019

Clemens Schöll, »Wohnungsbot«, 2019, Rigged Systems

# Wohnungsbot
## Von einem der auszog eine Wohnung in Berlin zu finden

(DE: Appartment bot — About someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin)

The housing market in Berlin – like in many other places – is out of control. The most tangible expression of this is the time-consuming and frustrating experience of flat hunting. Hours of scrolling, refreshing, typing, considering, applying – mind-numbing, but easily automatable. I’ve built the open-source application Wohnungsbot that automates just this.

Why has automation become synonymous to a technology employed by corporations and the state? Why is there no narrative and imagination for a public, decentralized and open automation that does not serve (if not even harm) the accumulation of capital and power?

By releasing the Wohnungsbot to the general public, I aim to spark new imaginative narratives of what automation could be. What if it weren’t employed against us, but rather was a tool we had to extend and defend ourselves? While it’s not a hack in a technical sense it does subvert the established (rental) system by reclaiming time and pushing the workload back to the landlords.

While I have already successfully developed and deployed a prototype of the Wohnungsbot, I would like to develop it further within the residency and find new [artistic] formats of expressing dissent and opposition in automation. How much more than a tool can a flat-hunting bot become? Can it achieve a halt in regular flat search activity if deployed widely enough, creating a type of labor-time-DDoS?

Apart from all that, the Wohnungsbot simply helps people find flats. It sure did work for me.

Download Wohnungsbot for Windows/macOS/Linux: https://wohnung.neopostmodern.com/

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