Generative and interactive virtual-reality installation
Pile Pont Expo, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, France
1 Mini Mac, 2 videoprojectors, 1 touch screen
Software: Claude Micheli
Technical production: Voxels Productions
Meta-Cities is a virtual town inspired by the towns and urban spaces of megalopolises. It is revelatory of a generic and imaginary principle of urban growth. Ildefons Cerdà, Baron Haussmann, and Otto Wagner had, of course, worked out urban models capable of restructuring towns and reorganizing their traffic patterns. But today, traffic flows, in real-time exchanges such as transportation, oblige one to rethink the city’s relation to life and territory. Computer tools now allow one to explore these new digital cities as they become worlds unto themselves. With no beginning or end, centerless or multicentered, Meta-Cities is a virtual town made up of wired buildings that parade before our eyes. Developing out of a matrix, this town is in a state of perpetual self-transformation. Meta-Cities generates itself out of itself within a chaos of unprogrammable dynamisms and flows. This virtual town mashes up different eras while projecting us into a utopian city where nature disappears, only to give way to rampant urban development, and where each town eventually merges with the others. Meta-Cities is no longer anything but a huge network that cannot fully be traversed or known in its totality; it is a virtual town of which we would possess only a spatial diagram. This artistic work generates a world of sensations that opens up new horizons while bringing out new emotions. In some sort of way, Meta-Cities can be said to be generative of urban utopias, it is an architectural expression of cyberspace. This new creative work invites us to read and to experience the town in another way, as one enters into a boundless realm of the imaginary.