RYUGYONG HOTEL
Matteo Ghidoni, Andrea Petrecca, Katarzyna Teodorczuk


- Ryugyong Hotel: the first, the only and the most popular reality show on North Korean Television is now in its seventh series and continues to draw audiences. The massive tv success of this format, strongly backed by a government keen to entertain a population that has grown tired of karaoke, is confirmed by the massive participation in the selections for this series. Here is a brief reminder of the rules of the game: 3,000 competitors, people just like you, drawn from the public at large, will have the opportunity to spend a whole year as guests in the hotel’s luxury rooms. The competitors will lead a quiet and completely normal life but will be banned from any form of gathering or group initiatives. The purpose of participation is the total fulfilment of the Juche ideology: “stand alone”. Every week the state-tv audience will vote for the person who has best achieved this sacrosanct principle; they will also nominate the unworthy who will be removed. The recent inexplicable facts that occurred during the during the show have a dual effect: on the one hand, the government is in a state of alert and people fear the format will be suspended; on the other, these unexpected developments have catalysed worldwide media attention, turning what could have been a boring pastime into a social phenomenon. You will remember that, just two years ago, there weren’t nearly as many people in the queue behind me…

- Yes, but as each of us was many, we were already a multitude!





- Number 1822
You can go to your room!

- Hurray!!!!!!!!!!







- Professor, is there a scientific explanation for what is happening? Every room in the Ryugyong Hotel is under video-surveillance… Has the competitors’ conduct ever hinted at conspiracy… There has never been any form of contact between them… Ok, switching on and off the lights in your room is not reprehensible in itself, but…

- Oh! Years of parades and training for mass games are starting to produce results!... But, seriously, these individuals seem to have developed some form of collective consciousness! The system is more like a beehive than a simple community! We could call it a super-organism that thinks with one shared brain and coordinates the actions of each individual down to the tiniest detail, without exchanging any visible or audible signals…





…a super-organism that has chosen to communicate with the world through the concrete surface of a gigantic building…





…and the whole world listens to the giant… and records its moods!





- That’s all from Pyongyang. Good night, and good luck!