Filmed by: Andrew Williamson
Sound: Baths - You're my excuse to Travel
Canon 5D Mark II, 17-40L and 50mm 1.8
Cinevate Camera Slider
Artscape Triangle Gallery Through December 5
Cities in Mind is a collaboration by three artists who explore the human connection with cities – in Toronto, and other cities throughout the world.
Wieslaw Michalak looks at the city topographically. He writes:
There are those who believe that since cities are the ultimate expression of human creativity, the morphology of cities tells a lot about their creators, inhabitants, and immigrants. The photographs presented in this series represent a metaphorical return to the idea of the 'city landscape' as a human work. The images are the result of a process by which satellite image databases of cities are first transformed into photo-maps. The colour composition reflects the various land-uses, associated human activities, and land-cover types of what is left of the natural environment. Then, the images are projected onto a 'screen' created by the surface of 19th century German atlases, an old-fashioned database of knowledge about the world, its cities and their layouts.
Don Snyder examines buildings, landforms and areas of Toronto still occupied by nature:
These images were made over a period of years, photographing first from rooftops in long-settled parts of the city and later, looking with the camera into Toronto's many ravines. The high vantage points provided by bridges and walkways enable one to look down, literally into the landscape, where forms of human structures or traces of human pathways are shadows or projections: urban forms overlaid on otherwise natural spaces. The photographs were made with transparency materials: photomicrography film, which emphasizes blue and red, and eventually Kodachrome, which has its own unique response to light and color.
Andrew Williamson’s work uses Michalak's and Snyder's photographs, as well as other sources, to look at areas in the city as typologies:
These large-scale works are created using various automated image manipulation scripts, written by the artist, which stretch, skew and assemble the original images into new composite works. The characteristics of each new image are determined by an analytical process, in a way that reflects the technological makeup (contrast, density, color) of the source images. This seemingly arbitrary methodology is intended to mirror the organic growth, and flux, of cities themselves. As such these images are composite visualizations of complex and difficult to interpret databases. They offer a rare visual insight into the very idea of a database.