Archive footage and virtual world screen capture are put together to consider concepts of the future city. The virtual world material is from Second Life, and Cica Ghost’s creative vision of ‘Future’ and the archive film is from the FDR archive on the future of the American city from the 1930s.
The archive footage and virtual world screen capture are overlaid to illustrate and explore differing concepts of the future city over time. The juxtaposition also explores how visions of the future are always made in the present. The sound, background music and voices are pitch changed and remixed with a contemporary musicians work that also incorporate found sound material. I work in the virtual world of Second Life under the pseudonym of Tizzy Canucci.
The implication is also that complete immersivity is a fallacy: there will always be gaps where other worlds show through. Films, books and virtual worlds are all immersive and virtual, in that they can never be complete, and they rely on our imagination to build our own stories alongside theirs. Stylisation creates a distance that gives us the space to think and imagine, to prompt us into seeing the world, and the future, in different ways.
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This work continues my previous themes of mixing material. Timothy J Welsh in ‘Mixed Realism’ claims that the virtual and the real are not opposed, but fold into each other. Mixed realism joins the fictional to the material and the cultural. The discrepancies and gaps are not flaws, but are important markers in making us aware of how the virtual mediates the real, how we imagine the future and how film mediates the past. We do not have, and cannot have, direct experience of any one without some of the other.
The digital is all pervasive, and we constantly move from the real into the virtual without even noticing it. These may be through the obviously digital, such as Google Maps or WhatsApp, or older technologies such as television or books, which are now written, printed and transmitted through digital means. But not of them entirely real or virtual, but move between the two.