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Transliteration: Questioning the Language of Urban Space

Vague Terrain 13: citySCENE collates the ventures of 20 artists and scholars working with a range of mediums that include: code, the body, text, field recording, mobile technology, static and moving imagery and the application programming interface (API). As evidenced by the contributor geo-histories mapped above, these creative practices have benefited from exposure to a significant number of global cities. As much as was possible, this work was curated to acknowledge the great diversity of urban contexts throughout the world.

The following works revel in translation, each reads their subject city as a composite text and identifies urban narratives while crafting concrete poetry. Olga Mink’s video Urban Nature takes ephemeral, transitory city-moments and stretches them into an uneasy realm of pure duration. These interstitial spaces are used to frame issues of surveillance and control in the contemporary city.

Urban Nature observes public behavior in a post-modern urban environment. The individual almost becomes non-existent, whilst surveillance is part of a new social infrastructure. A ‘sophistication of modern living’ becomes apparent, by use of images that appear as frozen moments in time. With music by Michel Banabila,and trumpet playing by Eric Vloeimans. This video was screened at Tate Britain, London, and Sonar-festival in Barcelona.

Visit the project CitySCENE by Vague Terrain.