URnotHere (You are Not Here) is a machine to create cities that confronts the hyper-locative discourse of social media interfaces. It challenges us to create a new geography of nomadic territories on transitory maps. Moreover, the project aims to discuss landscape art in the age of image production mediated by handheld devices, like mobile applications, geolocation features, and all sorts of tagging resources.
It offers a cinematic experience of the era of the “man without a camera,” in which the audience is invited to build cities (or re-edit the paths taken by me and Fernando Velázquez in different places) from a database.
The landscape is viewed on a device 360 that accompanies the movement of visitors moving “north” by the people in the room and the incessant deconstructing marking positioning of the GPSs that culture has imposed.
The public is invited to view and/or create cities, from the choice of images captured by the artists in over 40 cities around the world in multitouch interfaces (iPads). Visitors create and modify the landscape applying graphical effects, sound, and movement.
The cities created by the visitors in the exhibition room are also published on the Internet in real time in our website. This view however does not give the visitor a video with a beginning, middle and end. It just retrieves the tags (keywords) chosen in the exhibition space and cities associated with it. In other word, you get the never ending reconstructions from constant rearrangements of imaginary landscapes of the city produced in the exhibition set. Like mine Damrorflux, for instance…
(Oh, yes, imaginary cities have names automatically created by our system)
I mean, each city created has a unique name and is “owned” by its creator forever. Simply enter the email address you typed at the time of the invention of your city to locate it. Your city appears in the form of a mosaic and will be reordered every time the page is (re)loaded.
All archived cities, real and imagined, are listed in alphabetical order and are accessible from the gray button in the top navigation bar.
In the exhibition space, a big electronic eye (a customized Kinect) sets in motion the “fluxoscope,” our compass of dislocation, which makes the projectors move in circles and undo any possibility of observation from a fixed point.
In sum, URnotHere breaks up the logic of complicity with a sad character by Jorge Luis Borges who while looking for drawing maps, so perfect, that would come at a scale of one to one, abolished any possibility of representation and in the limit of imagination.
Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. Instead of being made of natural materials, such as marble, granite, plastic, chrome, and electric light. They are not built for the ages, but rather against the ages. (…) Both past and future are placed into an objective present. (…). Time becomes a place minus motion. If time is a place, then innumerable places are possible. Rather than saying, “What time is it?” we should say, “Where is the time?”
Robert Smithson. Entropy and the New Monuments (1966)
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