Sunday, May 23, 2010

Excerpt from Blueprints Essay (Revised)

The challenge to proxemics, how people relate to spaces, is the possibility of the interchangeability of cities. The photographing of locations outside Jersey City creates a wider terrain that the photographer covers. As a result, the unidentified city becomes borderless. The idea of interchangeable cities was inspired by two sources: Dark City(1998) and Jean Baudrillard. In Alex Proyas's film, memory becomes a commodity by fulfilling Baudrillard's order of simulacra. Every midnight, memories are exchanged between individuals. Consequently, counterfeit, reproducibility, and simulation make the memory of the city irrelevant, as the city itself is ephemeral. The Strangers can "tune" (telepathically manipulate objects) the machine to change the structures of buildings by focusing their collective consciousness. For Baudrillard, the models and schematics that represent city planning zones no longer need the physical territories they represent. The city that the Strangers manipulate and the humans inhabit is a manifestation of an abstraction. In a later scene, the city is revealed to be an uprooted metropolis, a massive malleable construct floating in the cosmos. The cities in Metropolis (1927), Things to Come (1936), THX-1138 (1971), Logan's Run (1976), and Blade Runner (1982) are spaces densely populated with skyscrapers, subterranean, enclosed in domes, or an amalgamation of industrial, residential, and corporate spaces. However, Dark City's cityscape is provisionally solid. For Blueprints, I wanted to give the impression of the blending city boundaries by depicting images of buildings and their spaces in construction - a virtual interchangeability of cities.

by Raul Garcia

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