Where the City Can't See

  • :Liam Young
  • Film, 12:22mins, 2017
  • @Beau Rivage

Where the City Can’t See is the first narrative fiction film captured entirely with laser scanners.

The film, directed by Liam Young, is set in the Chinese owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot with the same scanning technologies used by autonomous vehicles, the near future city is recorded through the eyes of the robots that manage it.

Across a single night a group of young car factory workers drift through Detroit in a driverless taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that their car doesn’t recognize. They are part of an underground community that work on the production lines by day but at night, adorn themselves in machine vision camouflage and the tribal masks of anti-facial recognition to enact their escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city. They hack the city and journey through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous landscapes, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. We have always found the eccentric and imaginary in the spaces the city can’t see.

About artist

Liam Young is a speculative architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures.

He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground.

He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time Magazine and New Scientist, is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney.

He has published several books including the recent Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene and has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs the ground breaking MA in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angeles. 

Young’s narrative approach sits between documentary and fiction as he focuses on projects that aim to reveal the invisible connections and systems that make the modern world work. Young now manages his time between exploring distant landscapes and prototyping the future worlds he extrapolates from them.

More at:  tomorrowsthoughtstoday.com and unknownfieldsdivision.com