Retrieving pages of images from the AltaVista search engine, Invisible Cities by Alex Monteith sets in movement an infinite zootrope of places, people and random information sourced from the distant cityscapes of the Internet.
Scripted by Sean Kerr, the work reveals images based on 2,000 nouns from Italo Calvino's influential novel of the same name. In Calvino's Invisible Cities the qualities of fictional cityscapes are relayed back home, search engine-like, to the awaiting emperor Khan. In Monteith's work, the landscapes of cities are replaced by the landscapes of information media: the shape the book would have taken if the emperor had been more techno-savvy.
The work is a conceptual play between the retrieval of images, both textual and graphic, and of language (AltaVista means "a view from above"). It is every bit as sharp and quirky as is the novel script it uses as its source; a response to the text and to the invisible architecture of the Internet in equal measure.
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