Where the City Can’t See / Liam Young (2015)

From deep within the forest, we can see the landscape visualised by the same machines that were used for its construction. The idyllic setting of Grizedale Tarn plays host to this living film set, where amongst the laser (LIDAR) scans of the landscape, we discover a vibrant but camouflaged underground community.

This open lab event was a prelude to the world’s first fiction film made entirely from data directed by speculative architect Liam Young and scripted by author Tim Maughan. Audiences were welcomed to observe the filming of Where the City Can’t See at Grizedale Tarn which formed the backdrop to our protagonists’ adventures.

Where the City Can’t See is the first fiction film made entirely from data. It focuses on an underground community who work on one of the production lines in Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ).

At night they enact escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city journeying through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous and ghost architectures and are adorned with machine vision camouflage and anti-facial recognition. Interested in the sub-cultures and communities which emerge around new technologies Liam Young and Tim Maughan provide a critical commentary on the smart city. The final film will premiere later in 2016.

Where the City Can’t See was an open film set.  Audiences were able to visit at any point during the listed times and to observe the process of making a film.

Liam Young is an architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is founder of the urban futures think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a group whose work explores the possibilities of fantastic, perverse and imaginary urbanisms. Liam also runs the Unknown Fields Division, an award winning nomadic workshop that travels on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth to investigate unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and industrial ecologies. And finally, Liam also coordinates events and exhibitions including the multimedia series ‘Thrilling Wonder Stories: Speculative Futures for an Alternate Present’ and is a curator of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Liam’s projects develop fictional speculations as critical instruments to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological futures.

Liam’s inherently collaborative design approach means his work is diverse in its scale and nature. He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Time, and Dazed and Confused. Liam was named by Blueprint magazine as one of 25 people who will change architecture and design.

An element of the final artwork will be permanently acquired into the University of Salford Art Collection.

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