Liminal City

is a mixed-media installation that empirically deals with questions around nomadic territorialization, marginal environments, material, and social entanglements. The installation is conceived as a sculptural city model that represents the fictive “Liminal City.” The model is built out of the material waste of digital devices such as old batteries, broken motherboards, wasted mobiles, burnt wires, etc. The story of “Liminal City” can be experienced through the interaction of an augmented reality application with the city model.

Following this, the project builds two levels of perception:

Installation sketch.

The first perception level plays with the physical composition of material remnants and their transformation into components of the city model. For this, the artist recycles unusable electronic material on the streets of the city assuming the role of a “cartonero” (Latin American term for “rubbish collector”). All recycled material must be classified and resignified as the main physical element of the model. After this process, the city model of “Liminal City” can be built step by step.

Installation sketch.

Thereafter, on the second level of perception, the city model will be enhanced by an AR App. With the help of the AR App, people can wander around the model obtaining information about “Liminal City” whilst associating the projected information with singular elements in the model.

With this interaction, “Liminal City” highlights a contradiction between a playful use of digital information and the physical electronic waste used by the city model. Thus, “Liminal City” is an invitation to reflect on subjects such as technological globalization, environmental marginality, and social living spaces.

All the computer-generated visual and auditive information enhancing city model is based on the project “Villa Futuro: Artistic research with digital media around the fictive story of a slum in the middle of nowhere” by Gonzalo H. Rodríguez at the scientific/artistic Ph.D. program of the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg.

An exhibition with this installation is planned for 2023 at MATJÖ – Raum für Kunst in Cologne, Germany.

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