Developing with the film idea from last week, I am currently working on 3 versions of the setting for my film. Each of these versions is an echo-chamber, a mirror for one of my 3 characters. Despite their differences, they are all scenes that unfold in the same space, the same city.
To aid in developing experiential characteristics of each of these filtered worlds, I have done a character breakdown (in terms of world view) for each of my protagonists. Each of these world views generates a spatial mirror – an augmented view of the city that affirms these beliefs – much like our media walls today.
1 – The Progressive Global Citizen
I am hopeful.
I believe in innocence until proven guilty.
If you are human, you are my kin.
I believe humanity is a threat to the planet and has a responsibility to protect her from itself.
Natural is better than artificial.
I fear disconnection; being disconnected is being disempowered.
I fear conflict and discord.
I fear discomfort.
Everyday is an opportunity.
Everyone is like me (I belong to the majority).
I live to work; I have a calling.
The world is abundant; there is more than enough to go around.
In the eyes of the global citizen the city is nestled in natural landscape. Areas of unseeing are disguised as mountains, forests and luscious urban gardens. Of course, these landscapes in the city are for viewing only, never to be entered as they disguise parts of the city too unpleasant or irrelevant to be seen. Places that celebrate this world view are connected and transparent, with an airy and ever changing sense of openness. Occasionally, the rival conservative world view appears, grossly exaggerated as decaying, violent sites, totally disconnected from the rest of the city fabric. Organic produce, coffee cups, timber, and wool are abundant.
2 – The Conservative Family Man
I am loyal; I protect my kin.
You must prove yourself to be worthy.
The more traits we share in common, the more kinship we share.
I stand my ground.
I claim the earth.
I fear helplessness.
I fear losing.
I fear instability.
Everyday is routine; I like to know what I’m getting.
Everyone should be like me.
I work to live.
The world is scarce; I must claim my rights to survive/thrive.
In the eyes of the family man, the architecture of the city is solid, practical and homely. Areas of unseeing are blocked from view by impassable terrains, fences and walls. Although most progressive areas of the city go unseen, sites of extreme liberalism appear as lofty structures, impossibly thin, precarious, and excessively ornamented that hover above the ground. Inaccessible, these places look like they are prone to shatter into a thousand pieces at any instant. Colour is scarce on the streets, but is concentrated around warm and welcoming houses which are large and minimally ornamented.
3 – The Villager
I am a mother/father/daughter/son.
My kin are those whom I love.
My world is familiar; and that which is beyond it is irrelevant.
I am part of nature (there is no distinction between natural and artificial)
I fear being insufficient.
I fear being outcast.
I fear being alone.
Everyday I do what is necessary, and no more.
I work and I live.
The world is big and I am small.
The world is constant.
In the eyes of the villager, the city is a series of densely packed islands floating in a vast foggy sea. Areas of unseeing are literally unseen as they disappear into the mist. The mist carries the strange sounds and smells from another world, but it is a world safely avoided through a network of thin walkways that connect the dense islands of houses and markets. The islands are places of safety – run by families, here the small communities look out for one another. They are warm and loud and busy. But they are also frail, dirty, and old. Sometimes, people try to leave, stepping out into the mist, vanishing from sight. On occasion they return, escorted by militia from another world. But mostly, those who leave vanish. Never to return again.
I have started modelling this view of the city first, as I find it the most visually compelling at the moment but I’ll definitely try to get some images of the others going soon.
I’m also searching my own videos for any film footage that might be useful for cutting into (with composited elements to make them fit the story) the film to help flesh it out. As a teaser, here is some footage I recently took in Venice which might be able to be used as part of the ‘Villager’ view sequence.
There will be two more versions of the city in the film too, for when the Festival of Le begins and personalised views are disabled.
One will appear only for a few seconds and will reveal the bare un-augmented view of the city as each of the characters’ perspectives resets. Perhaps in this view, they all glimpse each other for the first time, standing much closer to each other than we had ever imagined. This could be the ‘reveal’ to the audience that these three worlds are actually the same city.
The second version is Le’s view of the world – the average of everyone’s augmented views. Here, whilst we will see recognisable glimpses of the 3 worldviews we have seen so far, there will be far more craziness going on suggesting many more subcultures/tribes in the city than we have described so far. Le’s view will be overwhelmingly fragmented, complex and unreadable. However, what gives each of the characters perspective is seeing for the first time just how their version of the world sits in the context of this heterotopia.
This city is a place of invisible adjacencies.
Our filtered eyes need no walls.
For TS I think it could be good to look at personalisation algorithms – breaking them down and working out what information the quantified self is actually made of. A second chapter then might look at how this could feed into augmented reality environments – prototyping the two foundational technologies of my project.