cracked cities (2005)

The crack is an entrance into a subcutaneous world, a scar that allows us to peel back the surface, Recalling associations with the broken, the deranged, hard drugs that challenge the social fabric and pirated software, the idea of the Cracked City is one where aspirations of architectural wonder, the domination of design over the environment, start to break down.

In the Cracked City, the forces of nature reclaim their territory, whether through the drip feed decay of spreading mildew, the apocalyptic force of an earthquake or the reclamation of social space by the individual scratching of a graffitist.

Evidence of the process is everywhere, from the decaying structures of Istanbul to the continually self-renewing organism of Tokyo, the signs can be read between the cracks in the walls. The sublimated energy of this entropy is displayed in the geography of economic marginalisation; the spaces by the railway tracks, ...

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The crack is an entrance into a subcutaneous world, a scar that allows us to peel back the surface, Recalling associations with the broken, the deranged, hard drugs that challenge the social fabric and pirated software, the idea of the Cracked City is one where aspirations of architectural wonder, the domination of design over the environment, start to break down.

In the Cracked City, the forces of nature reclaim their territory, whether through the drip feed decay of spreading mildew, the apocalyptic force of an earthquake or the reclamation of social space by the individual scratching of a graffitist.

Evidence of the process is everywhere, from the decaying structures of Istanbul to the continually self-renewing organism of Tokyo, the signs can be read between the cracks in the walls. The sublimated energy of this entropy is displayed in the geography of economic marginalisation; the spaces by the railway tracks, forgotten housing estates, empty warehouses as the discarded legacy of last centuries boom.

The trail of the Cracked City leads across the globe; in all the distance and cultural shifts there are unifying sets of signifiers that mark an unseen globalisation with its inevitable gravitational pull. Istanbul, Kathmandu, London, New York, Tokyo - all contain snapshots of this future city; these cityscapes are maps of textures that together create a vision of a derelict world.

Cracked Cities looks to evoke something of the haphazard analogue technology of projectors where images appears to re-order themselves and the remote jumps back and forth, one, two, three images at a time. The slideshow is a form as old as photography itself, now incorporated into the digital realm with the automation of metronomic presentation and dissolves.

The digital world gives us a glimpse of the possibility of an organic world of chance with the use of a random function. We become temporarily freed from the logical order; no longer able to predict what might come onto the screen next, image follows image and the audience generates narrative in their mind.

An image alone conveys an abstracted sense of location, Cracked Cities relocates the image with the viewer as we hear the sounds of voices making sense of these images. A multi-layered commentary with geographically diverse accents floats over the images, triggering associations, drawing us into the subjective world of audience.

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