Over at Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, Liam Young explains our ‘New City’ art installation for the Future Fictions show in Belgium:

“Opening on October 4th at Z33 in Belgium, Future Fictions. Perspectives on worldbuilding explores how contemporary artists, designers and architects relate to future thinking and imaging: from mapping, questioning and criticizing, to developing complex visions about the structures and systems that may shape our life in the future. Tomorrows Thoughts Today’s Liam Young will première a 3 screen projection work ‘New City’, a series of near future city skylines. New City is a collaboration with the authors Jeff Noon, Pat Cadigan and Tim Maughan and musicians Coldcut.”

(Yeah, you read that right. Coldcut.)

“New City is a series of animated skylines of the near future…in intricate 5k detail they depict a speculative urbanism, an exaggerated version of the present, in which we can project new cultural trends, environmental, political and economic forces. Photographs taken on expeditions around the world documenting these emerging phenomena and weak signals have been meticulously stitched together and extrapolated to form each city skyline. In this way ‘New City’ slips between the real and the imagined, between the documentary and the visionary, where speculative fictions become a way of exploring a world that the everyday struggles to grasp.”

You can read the full texts and watch snippets of all three animations over at TTT, plus I’ve posted the one I worked on below. ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ was inspired by the expedition to Korea and China I took with Liam and his Unknown Fields Division crew over the summer (a lot more on which will follow soon, watch this space), specifically a combination of the hyper-saturated, high rise cities that are growing out of the ground across the country, and the corporate logo branded tower blocks that dominate the skylines of South Korean cities like Busan.

New City: Keeping Up Appearences from liam young on Vimeo.

Duri drops the Samsung Galaxy SX phone onto the kitchen table, hears it chime softly as it makes contact with the paper-thin Samsung Qi SmartPower charging mat.

-Honey, what’s that cardboard tube in the hallway?

Sang’s voice comes back from the lounge, muffled by the low hum of the Samsung AHT24WGMEA/XSG air conditioner.

-That’s the TV, come and see-

-What?

-It’s the packaging the new TV came in. I’ve just hung it. Come in here and see!

Duri pushes open the door to an explosion of pixels the width of the room; an ultra high def orgy of thrown paint and 4K rainbow ejaculate soiling pristine whitespace. White turns to black, paint to fireworks, stars flicker and become city lights, a forest of pastel shaded, corporate branded condo-blocks emerging from the night, as the final strains of the orchestral score fade into the air-con’s never ending drone.

Sang waits until the TV’s start-up and calibration routine has finished before turning to Duri, idiotic childish glee filling approval-seeking eyes.

-Nice, huh?

-Yeah. It’s great. But why does it say LG on it?

[beat]

-Because… it’s made by LG?

-Move it. Now.

Sang looks confused, almost hurt.

-The TV?

-The packaging first. Get it out of the hallway. Bring it in here. Now.

-What? But they’re coming to get the recycling tonight-

-Exactly. Get it in here before anybody sees it.

Duri curses silently for trusting Sang with such an important consumer decision, anxiously glancing at the feed from the hallway’s Samsung SND-6011R dome camera via a Samsung SmartGear 7 Neo wristwatch.

-Christ, who knows who’s seen it already… I just hope nobody from the building standards committee is back from work yet…

-Baby…

-Don’t baby me. Are you trying to get us thrown out? Our lease is up for review in three months and you brought an LG TV into a Samsung housing block? What the hell will the neighbours say?