The ways in which cities shape us, and how we shape them, are influenced by a variety of modalities that often have contradicting poles/ends. On one side of one modality that influences urban space we observe the built environments and urban infrastructures which are more or less defined, concrete, and given; and on the opposite end of this modality one can find elements that are softer, ethereal, fluid, unexpected, and not prescribed. This end relates to self-initiated activities of citizens, our intangible heritage, our memories, our stories, our aspirations and/or our conflicts. The inconsistencies and tensions between these two opposing ends allow us to wonder and speculate about the past, present and future of urban environments.

In the current digital and anthropocentric times, cities have become increasingly complex and contradictory as disciplinary spaces of enclosure give way to networked and distributed systems of control. As a result of rapid, mostly unconstrained growth, spaces have multiplied in scale, while simultaneously being broken down into incomprehensible multitudes of components. Increasingly quantified, controlled, and surveilled bodies are ranked against each other in order to determine their degrees of access to cities and their resources. In this modality, control and surveillance are opposing citizen driven actions, protests, and public art interventions.

We are now awash in a sea of images, ritually conditioned to be able to swipe from one contradictory idea to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. In contemporary cities our attention is increasingly commoditised and controlled in an algorithmically constructed public discourse which has normalised outrage and reduced debate to a form of recreation. While the excesses of contemporary cities have produced a spectacular array of personalised, overlapping experiences and interactions for those who have access to them, underlying social and material contradictions driven by corporate greed, and assisted by recommendation algorithms, present looming threats to the ‘stability’ of urban spaces.

The Urban Screening seeks opportunities to tease out the contradictions found in various modalities that influence urban spaces and our lives inside (or outside) them.

Video: Planet City
Contributor(s): Liam Young
Duration: 3 minutes 30 seconds

Humans dominate the planet. As a consequence of hundreds of years of colonisation, globalisation and never-ending economic extraction and expansionism we have remade the world from the scale of the cell to the tectonic plate. But what if we radically reversed this planetary sprawl? What if we reached a global consensus to retreat from our vast network of cities and entangled supply chains into one hyper-dense metropolis housing the entire population of the earth?

Planet City, by Los Angeles-based film director and architect Liam Young, is a film and book that explores the productive potential of extreme densification, where 10 billion people surrender the rest of the planet to a global wilderness and the return of stolen lands.

Although wildly provocative, Planet City eschews the techno-utopian fantasy of designing a new world order. This is not a neo-colonial masterplan to be imposed from a singular seat of power. It is a work of critical architecture – a speculative fiction grounded in statistical analysis, research and traditional knowledge. It is a collaborative work of multiple voices and cultures supported by an international team of acclaimed environmental scientists, theorists and advisors. In Planet City we see that climate change is no longer a technological problem, but rather an ideological one, rooted in culture and politics.

Planet City is simultaneously an extraordinary image of tomorrow and an urgent examination of the environmental questions facing us today.

Video: Eagle Mansions
Contributor(s): Ewa Effiom
Duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

Under quarantine London shrunk to people’s immediate neighbourhoods. For some, it was even limited to the home (or a single room). That didn’t mean that we stopped experiencing space, however: on the contrary, some noticed that our perceptions intensified. Architecture does not have to be about monuments or the works of ‘great’ designers it is also about the spaces of everyday life, and finding in them, if not the marvellous, then at least the remarkable. Storytelling and anecdote have prime placement in this film as it betrays as the contradictions inherent in place. 

Methods similar to that of Arthur Jafa are used, an artist who came to the fore in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, his work, notable due to the extensive use of film trouvée, is often seen as acts of black resistance. This piece is an act of resistance against the prominent literature on gentrification in East London, coming from a second generation immigrant demonstrating a more complex story. It is a love letter to Dalston, an area characterised by its constant negotiation between different facets of society. The film then speaks pointedly about the living standards in London and the millennial paradigm, with a key understanding that the difference in priorities between this generation and the last’s are well documented but often in a way that’s dismissive. The film alludes to this but also attempts to make a jest of these dismissals, highlighting their impotence.

The film concludes by recounting many of the contradictions that make Dalston special: allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

The film was written by Ewa Effiom and voiced by the poet and artist, Ahren Warner whose recent work also delves with the medium of the documentary dealing with certain facets of the demographic.

Video: Atlas Shrugged
Contributor(s): Tom Jackson
Duration: 3 minutes 33 seconds

The story of New Brighton Christchurch, New Zealand is one where most of its buildings are left intact. There was no war, but the climactic situation was an economic one of capitalist devastation. After the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, New Brighton’s economy imploded, creating a huge sense of loss of identity for the inhabitants who were there. It created an Urban crisis where people abandoned the suburb and its once-booming commercial industry. As a result, the architecture then became a set of uninhabited elements that were no longer contributing to culture, society, and the economy.

Because the interventions are for the victims of this devastation, the objects left behind also become the victims that are used to rebuild the city. Simultaneously these objects are symbols that reveal the capitalist devastation which allows the story to be told. The architectural victims are contextualized so that they are located in a place where the trajectories unveil important overlooked features of devastation.

Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged acts as a literary provocateur for this film, reflecting the significance of large industries and the dominance of advertisements that hold the power of hypnotizing their audience. The ‘Silent Witnesses’ in this film are placed in a manner that allows them to become the new City. These features are used to tell the society of this implosion whilst being a sanctuary for the people. They become the inhabitants of the city, looking out at the horizon line, gazing at the mysteries of what the future holds.

Video: Jamila’s Tiny Revolution
Contributor(s): PVI Collective
Duration: 2 minutes 26 seconds

“Jamila’s tiny revolution” was developed as part of pvi collective’s work “tiny revolutions”. tiny revolutions is a participatory performance that responds to contemporary global issues that appear overwhelming in the eyes of the individual. The work collaboratively generates “bite sized actions” which are then carried out by artists in the public realm. The public are invited to submit issues to the project that they find paralyzing, issues which keep them up at night and cause them grief. During a performative roundtable event, audiences and pvi artists devise a tiny action in response and plan the execution of that action.

“There are so many disabled and chronically ill people who are so profoundly abandoned by our systems, leaders, and each other. The scale of how inaccessible public and private spaces are. How expensive it is to be sick. How traumatising survival is. How can we get the help we need?”

Jamila was distressed by the inaccessibility of many spaces for chronically ill and disabled people. As a response, pvi rebels brought mobility devices embedded with audio to some of the least accessible public places in Port Adelaide and used the tactic of invisible performance to exaggerate the invisibility of these experiences to the wider public. The voiced mobility devices were created by people living with disabilities in answer to the prompt: what would your mobility device say if it could talk? Featured are Beckie, Maria, and Sue from Karrarendi, a First Nations disability services program.

The clips are intended to draw attention to the inherent ableism found in a lot of urban architecture and design, and the impact upon people with mobility issues, especially those who are reliant on a mobility device.

Video: Absence
Contributor(s): Created by Megan Jones and supervised by Deakin University academic team: Mirjana Lozanovska, with academic team Diego Fulloando Fullaondo and Cristina Garduno Freeman.
Duration: 2 minutes 40 seconds

Absence documents the collective memory of migrant labour at the Ford Car Factory in Geelong, Australia. The closure of the Ford Factory in 2016 affected the community of Geelong, and especially its workers. Jones collected stories of past Ford workers from existing publications – photographs, newspaper articles, magazines and historical data records – a wide variety of sources. These were curated with and against a series of photographs of migrant workers in the Geelong Ford factory taken by acclaimed industrial émigré photographer Wolfgang Sievers (1957). Rather than the optimism of post-war nation-building, here the juxtaposition of buildings and machinery with visually fragmented pantomime workers explores a discordance between memory and absent vanishing environments.

Absence is one of a series of three films exploring embodied memory at the Ford Factory: the assembly/construction of the Ford buildings (Michael Faulks) and the production line and machinery of the interior (Chayakan Siamphukdee). The films are a part of a larger project, Vacant Geelong, that celebrates Geelong’s industrial/post-industrial culture, its industrial past and the embodied social and cultural memories of its factory workers and residents.

Video: Cultural Institute of Agriculture
Contributor(s): Ruqayyah Sarwar, Julia Boustani and Mohammad Nathani
Duration: 1 minute 43 seconds

Humans have to be fed, they have always had to be fed and they will always need to be fed. Food is at the very base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The process of growing, maintaining, and harvesting are all core survival skills which enable humans to survive, albeit what makes food enjoyable is the preparation, cooking, and dining. Cultures around the world are identified by food, the post-labour university will not only teach core survival skills, but also create an appreciation for cultural cuisines. The manifesto of this university being, retaining culture through agriculture.

This film was a part of a Capstone project that our team completed. The short film acts a promotional video for our post-labour university, where labour is retired. So, what becomes the aim of the university? Out of context the film still represents the process of ‘farm to fork’ albeit in a future utopian context.

Video: Water Odyssey
Contributor(s): Kenta McGrath
Duration: 4 minutes 42 seconds
Water Odyssey begins with a flushed toilet and ends by the water’s edge – an audiovisual journey through the city of Perth via pipes, and sounds and images that evoke the flow or release of water. The film is a collaboration between Kenta McGrath and students from Governor Stirling Senior High School, and was commissioned for the 2018 Perth Festival’s Water Features – a series of four water-themed documentaries and an extension of Museum of Water, a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories created by UK artist Amy Sharrocks.

Video: Intertidal Sections
Contributor(s): Ainslie Murray
Duration: 2 minutes 26 seconds

Intertidal Sections investigates foreshore conditions at 40 sites along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour,Australia. The 320-kilometre harbour foreshore extends across an array of broadbays and deep inlets and encompasses a diverse range of natural and developed landscapes. The exposed sandstone cliffs and dense woodlands of the outer harbour enfold small beaches and intimate trails along the harbour’s edge. At a glance this landscape reads as a natural and relatively untouched harbour setting, yet it is far from it. The inner harbour is characterised by dense development, urban parks and promenades that gradually give way to quieter suburban riverine landscapes along the upper reaches of the Parramatta River. The green necklace of parks and open spaces that fringe the waterway moderate a diverse array of settlement patterns from downtown skyscrapers to working waterfronts and single dwellings.

While fragments of the harbour resemble the pre-colonial landscape nurtured by Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years, much of the Sydney Harbour foreshore has been reconfigured and reconstructed over time as the city developed. Over the last 30 years in particular the waterfront has been reshaped, reclaimed, remediated, restored and radically transformed in various ways through different projects. A quiet and sustained greening of Sydney Harbour has transformed it from a controlled industrial working waterfront to a series of linked public spaces accessible to all.

This film captures the visual character of the foreshore through the repetitious registration of water, foreshore and sky. Variations in colour and texture as influenced by depth, material and atmosphere are presented as interrelated architectural sections that convey the poetic complexity of the foreshore environment. The works relate the sensory experience of landscape with the analytical eye and ear, and in doing so demonstrate the agency of the architectural section.

Video: Reclining Stickman
Contributor(s): STELARC
Duration: 1 minute 53 seconds

Reclining StickMan is a 9m long, 4m high, interactive stick figure robot, actuated by antagonistically bundled pneumatic rubber muscles. Visitors at the AGSA could insert their own choreography from a control panel. Anyone, anywhere online, at any time could remotely access and actuate the robot. 4-channel video streaming allowed remote participants to view their choreography. A background algorithm intermittently animated the robot if no one intervened. The droning motor sounds, the solenoid clicks and the muscles compressing and contracting, exhausting and extending were amplified, registering the limb motions and extending the physical presence of the robot. The robot continuously rotated on its axis projecting anamorphic shadows on three walls and ceiling of the gallery. 

STELARC performed for 5 hours continuously positioned on the torso of the robot on Saturday 29 Feb 2020, 11.30am – 4.30pm. The robot could be animated with a pair of pneumatic joysticks,, the artist improvising to the interactions of local and remote participants.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Wayne Michell, Ternay – Design Engineering Mark Harrison, Festo – Pneumatic muscles and technology AITI, Flinders University – Robot fabrication Steve Berrick – Interactive software and electronics Steven Alyian – Technical Coordination, Audio and Video Streaming Video edit by Steven Alyian Special thanks to Leigh Robb, Curator 2020 Biennial of Australian Art Presented as part of the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres https://www.agsa.sa.gov.au/whats-on/e… Presented in association with the Adelaide Festival, and with generous support received from the Art Gallery of South Australia Biennial Ambassadors Program and Principal Donor The Balnaves Foundation. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

Video: Institute of Innovation and Technology: The Field of Appropriated Technology
Contributor(s): Evelyn Ho, Elena Nguyen, Vanessa Xu
Duration: 1 minute 2 seconds

Exploited by the hands of a capitalist world, technology has majorly moulded our modernity into ‘societies of carbon-based and competitive forms’ where the genuinity of the human pleasure fell short. Therefore, the institution strives to reintroduce cultural values by challenging technology norms in a transitioning climate to a post-labour era. Its operation is influenced by the curious act of ‘hacking’ where the very essence of technology is reformed. The project chooses to enrich the development of technology with an anarchic approach: through the engagement with the diverse cultural fabric that has been existing rather than the autonomous advancement where technology dictates the behaviours of society. It celebrates the experimental progress of technology cultures that are vivid, robust and substantial in response to social frontiers. Freedom of expression is encouraged as rebellious presentations that stimulate cultural and scientific values are to be looked forward to. As the avant-garde of hip hop and lowriders where culture and technology encountered, the focus of study is motivated from the means of leisure and self-entertainment over the proliferation of meaningless designs for the sake of production and economy. The short film is also a demonstration of the project conceptual framework in a sense that it is a culmination of different elements that are put together in a somewhat unseemly manner; in other words, it is an animated collage of existing information and technological ‘scraps’, amalgamated by newly rendered architectural elements

Video: Invisible Cities – Cities and Desire 4 and Thin Cities 2
Contributor(s): Rob Cameron
Duration: 4 minutes 21 seconds

Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities (1972) is a literary touchstone for those interested in the phenomenon of cities and how they appear to our memories and imagination. These two films are part of a larger reconstruction of the book through the use of BigSleep – an open source A.I model that combines two neural networks: BigGAN and CLIP to take text prompts and visualize an image to fit the words. This project was interested in examining how an artificial intelligence might interpret and represent Calvino’s writings through the lens of our online collective memory. What are cities in a world structured and controlled by digital infrastructure?

Video: Divested Emergence (part one of two)
Contributor(s): Mike Makossa
Cast: Rin Tucker, Mike Makossa and Ata-Reta Howard (support)
Duration: 6 minutes 22 seconds

In 1974 a carefully designed message (The Arecibo message) was transmitted into a dense cluster of stars at the edge of the Milky

In 1974 a carefully designed message (The Arecibo message) was transmitted into a dense cluster of stars at the edge of the Milky way; this expansive handshake, contained basic information about humanity at the time; it will take twenty-one thousand years for the message to reach the intended destination. Less than half a century later the message technology is antiquated and we now entertain concepts such as the integration of electronic entities into societal structure and colonisation of other worlds through signal transmission alone.

A global future for humanity which is steeped in technological advancement, veiling corporate intention is a rich resource for my research; I witness clever psychological marketing strategies, designed to shape human behaviour for the gain of stakeholders.  Concerned about consequences of greed and predatory behaviour, I seek to facilitate a sense of empathy in my art.

‘Divested Emergence’ allies development from questioning pace of physiological and psychological evolution within environmental transitions that are occurring in a generational timeframe. Are we losing functional value of the bodily apparatus that we carry around? Does adaptation to the presence of ‘smart’ technologies leave us feeling partially obsolete? How will the use of ‘artificial Intelligence’ influence our perception of our value within a population?

Video: CSP Closings & Delays
Contributor(s): Kristin Reeves
Duration: 5 minutes 9 seconds

The Chicago Board of Education made history in 2013 approving the closure of 50 schools, the largest public school closing to date in the United States. I documented all 50 schools on a 100’ roll of 16mm film while my DSLR caught visual and audio vignettes of their communities. Film has been distressed with bleach and text has been laser etched (melted) directly into the film.

Video: Our Wah Fu Estate: Kaifong K x Enthusiast Q 
Contributor(s): Vincci Mak, Michelle Chan and Gary Wong
Duration: 3 minutes 41 seconds

Wah Fu Estate is one of the oldest public housing estates in Hong Kong. Designed and built in the 1960s, it is renowned for its modern architecture. Its architectural and landscape design illustrate the techniques to create a comfortable living environment and community space in Hong Kong as a compact city. Besides, it is famous for its site history, landscape natural beauty, local culture and everyday intangible heritage. In recent years, Wah Fu Estate is even iconised as Hong Kong’s nostalgic symbol. Due to urban development, Wah Fu Estate is due to be demolished and redeveloped in 2023. The everyday living space in Wah Fu Estate will soon become “disappearing landscapes”.

To capture the disappearing landscapes of Wah Fu Estate, this video will document the journeys people take in the Estate. While Wah Fu residents have lots of memories of this place from their everyday life, many other people in Hong Kong also established associations and attachments to Wah Fu Estate because of its modern architecture, heritage,and etc. This video documents the typical journeys of a resident (Kaifong K) and an enthusiast (Enthusiast Q) in Wah Fu Estate, where they experience the same estate with different perspectives. They then swap their routes to experience the Estate from each other’s point of view. The pair then reconvene to discuss and share their new understandings of Wah Fu Estate, and such reflections will help develop documentations to build further understanding of why Wah Fu Estate is so special in the minds of people in Hong Kong.


Video: Into the Void
Contributor(s): Tom Jackson
Duration: 3 minutes 51 seconds

This project looks at the design of speculative, allegorical architecture, especially as designed for film. It investigates how literature can be interpreted into an architectural film set such that the architecture allegorically references the story being told. The film uses architecture to interpret a story from the Book of Isaiah. According to early translations of the Book of Isaiah, the first wife of Adam before Eve was Lilith. When Lilith turned to sin, God cast her out of Paradise to live in Edom, an apocalyptic city that had been smote into ruins by God. What would Lilith’s house look like in Edom? What would the architectural context look like? This research topic asks: what happens to architecture when the image of nature changes, and when the laws of nature change? 

The project takes a unique approach of using film to represent the immersive experience of architecture over static representation. The basis narrative for the project revolves around the mythical structure ‘Purgatorio’ from Dante Alighieri’s 13th century poem ‘The Divine Comedy’. The 7 levels of the Pergatorio correspond to the seven deadly sins or “seven roots of sinfulness” where each sinful action is cleansed upon the journey to Eden. The speculative nature of designing for a mythical site broadens the possibilities of how to approach the design process. 7 abstract paintings were used as touchpoints to provoke an emotional response from the characteristics of each of the 7 gateways – A unique initiation method used to reveal new potentials of design. Throughout the final film a mixture of familiar architectural componentry is abstracted in and out of context to represent order amongst the chaos – A hallway that converges at the intersection of our world and the underworld.

Video: Kintsugi
Contributor(s): UTS Interior Architecture Studio: Housing to Habitat
Duration: 3 minutes

Kintsugi’ positions audiences through the satirical lens of microorganisms, challenging societal domestic rituals, and considering room for an ecology where the natural world and built environment interrupt and ‘invade’ each other; exposing the ‘backstage’ of culturally ingrained social systems. ‘Kintsugi’ is a collaborative student film responding to an Architectural Studio brief that explores how a project of collective housing could engender an emergence from the binaries enforced by late-capitalism; e.g the division of culture/nature, labour/leisure, humans/non-humans etc. to approach an intersectional habitat for collective living. In the midst of a climate and political crisis it attempts to reimagine a collective subject, to forge a new world from the ruins of the old. Studio Ghibli’s ‘Princess Mononoke’ serves as the setting on which the culture-nature continuum as applied to the domestic space is discussed.

Video: Study 7/0
Contributor(s): Dejan Grba and Philippe Kocher
Duration: 5 minutes 13 seconds

In Study 7/0 we explore the positioning errors of a static GPS receiver through a series of generative procedures. The project is motivated by the idea of cognitive mapping as a configuration of individual, non-linear and discontinuous spatiotemporal experiences, and their outcomes. We use technical flaws as a conceptual source material for further creative processing and expression. We also investigate the effective approaches to emergence in generative art, where a simple initial setup of a complex system can produce surprising phenomena. For this initial iteration of the project we created an animation based on the 2D waypoint data (longitude and latitude) and the timestamps recorded in the GPS Track Log path.

Video: Underground
Contributor(s): Audrey Lam
Duration: 4 minutes 15 seconds

Moira falls down the rabbit hole of a railway station stairwell. She enters a frantic underworld that is deliriously cracking open and coming apart. The technique of stop-motion photo-collage creates a fragmented and erratic canvas for the film, as bits of paper add to and give way to one another.

Video: Tingbjerg
Contributor(s): Popi Iacovou
Duration: 4 minutes 8 seconds

The short film ‘Tingbjerg’, named after its town, is a cinematic portrait of a New Town – built from tabula rasa – at the suburbs of Copenhagen designed by Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen in 1950 and built in 1972. The area is listed by Danish g

The short film ‘Tingbjerg’, named after its town, is a cinematic portrait of a New Town – built from tabula rasa – at the suburbs of Copenhagen designed by Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen in 1950 and built in 1972. Notably the area is listed by Danish government as a ghetto. The criteria for inclusion in the ghetto list are 50% greater population from non-Western or immigrant background, 55% of the population earning less than the average income and higher levels of unemployment and low education.

Through on-site observation and fieldwork, the short film portrays the contradictions of a stigmatized ‘ghetto town’ and its everydayness, the soft and the hard infrastructures that reveal its multicultural social layers against a very ‘Danish’ architectural setting. The gap between the architect’s ideal design of the New Town and the way it is occupied is transcribed in the languages written and spoken in the place. The streets and buildings are thematically named in Danish language: ‘Ruten’(route), ‘Arkaderne’ (arcade), ‘Langhusvej’(Long house), ‘Solgavl’ (sun façade), ‘Skolesiden’ (school-site) that correspond to the built environment and its typologies and characteristics. The commercial infrastructure is signposted by labels in ‘other’ languages such as Arabic, Kurdish, and Persian that correspond to the demographics of the place. Language, is used in the film as a means of translating and transmitting the contradiction between the hard and the soft infrastructures of Tingbjerg.

Video: Pinnacles, Perth, Pub and Pilbara
Contributor(s): Eleanor Peres & Alex Psaltis (Fabrics) in collaboration with Paradise Journal
Duration: 2 minutes 59 seconds

Pinnacles, Perth, Pub and Pilbara is a three minute long audiovisual essay which transforms digital scans of photographs from a mid-twentieth-century archive of large-format “Australiana” books with luring titles like “Australia: a Timeless Grandeur”1 and “Australia, the Timeless Continent”2. These images were captured decades ago on stolen land that has still not been ceded. Its authors acknowledge and pay respect to Aboriginal communities past, present and emerging on both Gadigal and Wurundjeri lands where Eleanor Peres and Alex Psaltis practice respectively.

Psaltis’ soundscape is triggered by images in a process of composition that observes, expands and speculates on moments that cannot be revisited. As this interstate collaboration unfolded in a locked down reality, it became a sensory interplay of sound guiding visual composition as much as a sonification of hacked imagery. Sonically, the video guides the audience through synthesised walls of sound, among brief moments of warped melody and the sounds of trains, birds and children playing.

The extraction and reformation of earth materials into life-size spaces from a distance and at scale via digital communication tools is an architectural process this work inverts. Material gleaned from second-hand physical books has been hacked, scanned and recomposed to blur scale, time and geography. This piece presents the Australia of then to juxtapose the Australia of now. The national outside rendered in these photographs is not the same one at the periphery of our apartments and cities today. Some sites have been decimated or developed, others renamed in recognition of ancient Aboriginal civilisation, and some appear frozen in time as the planetary atmosphere enveloping them evolves.

1Australia, a Timeless Grandeur, 1981, Helen and Bruno Grasswill and Reg Morrison

2Australia, the Timeless Continent, 1984, Ted Smart and David Gibbon, Neil Sutherland, Eberhard Streichan and Oystein Klakegg

Video: Colony Collapse
Contributor(s): Ian Gibbins
Duration: 3 minutes 35 seconds

“I am still watching ghosts, eyes rimed with salt, homesick… this was never our natural state, our true inheritance… we should not be here…”

Although urban infrastructure has largely obliterated so much of what, and who, was once there, the power of natural environment remains inescapable, the precariousness of our hold on place seems obvious. In the face of one of the driest and hottest years on record, the transition from flood to fire became a fitting visual metaphor to complement the text. Despite the warnings, few of us expected the reality to be as devastating as it has turned out to be.

Video: Making of Failures
Contributor(s): Oron Catts and Vladimir Todorovic
Duration: 7 minutes 42 seconds

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, biological artist Oron Catts decided to follow Victor Frankenstein’s footsteps to the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland. His interest was the second experiment; a female companion to Frankenstein’s first Creature. On the islands, Oron has found several locations that resemble Mary Shelley’s descriptions in the book. He was searching for clues that will help him find where, in secrecy, Dr Frankenstein was working on creation of a new life form. Dark, desolate and wretched landscapes intertwined with eerie quotes from the book surrounded Oron while he found evidence that Dr Frankenstein failed to repeat his second experiment. While wandering in this “monotonous, yet-ever changing scene” Oron wants Dr Frankenstein to posthumously retract his report on the creation of the female companion and to finally admit that he has failed to reproduce his scientific protocols.