kottke.org posts about futurism

City Everywhere by Liam Young

posted by Patrick Tanguay   May 01, 2018

I had the chance to see this “lecture performance” live a couple of weeks ago and it’s a great way to catch up on some of Liam Young’s work over the last few years. The lecture takes us all around the world with facts and speculations about drones, cities, pollution, the lithium fields of Bolivia, human conveyor belts, rare earths, Chinese factory workers, and more. The first part is taken from this project:

Where the City Can’t See’ is the world’s first narrative fiction film shot entirely with laser scanners. Set in the Chinese owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot using the same scanning technologies used in autonomous vehicles, the near future city is recorded through the eyes of the robots that manage it. Across a single night a group of young car factory workers drift through Detroit in a driverless taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that their car doesn’t recognize. They are part of an underground community that work on the production lines by day but at night, adorn themselves in machine vision camouflage and the tribal masks of anti-facial recognition to enact their escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city. They hack the city and journey through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous landscapes, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. We have always found the eccentric and imaginary in the spaces the city can’t see.