Editor’s Note: This feature was originally published on our previous platform, In the In-Between: Journal of Digital Imaging Artists, and the formatting has not been optimized for the new website.
“Xanadu critiques popular representations of the increasingly virtual ‘ideal city’; here conceived as a trans-cultural model of contemporary utopia. Seductively hyperreal in full HD, Xanadu depicts a vast and spectacular urban space of uncertain spatial, temporal and cultural origins. Selected details are flawlessly animated, providing an almost hallucinogenic quality of visual sensitivity.
In this intricate, almost symmetrical digital composition, Wise has synthesized imagery from various resources; found in open source archives, purchased from global stock agencies, and still and video footage he recorded in Australia and abroad. His diverse reference sources include Western Medieval narrative painting, traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e (floating word) landscapes and science fiction cinema, and the literature of Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities) and Guy Debord (The Society of the Spectacle).
Individual zones of ‘truth’ sewn with such convincing thread lend a disquieting sensation to the reading of the work. Wise has crafted a mesmeric no-place, a true utopia-in-arcadia. Xanadu’s megatropolis fulminates harmoniously within a natural paradise. While disorder and dissent seem unimaginable in a place so carefully conceived, Xanadu constantly tilts the kaleidoscope between the desirable, the attainable and the real.”
-excerpt from his website
HD digital video animation, single channel projection, colour, 6:00, mirrored glass
135 x 240 x 30
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