Everywhere in the world tremendously big projects see the light. Megacities get organized at a big scale modifying the life conditions of millions of people. Abu Dhabi is one of the main laboratories of this transformation of space and time. How can the residents own their spatial livelihoods? Is it possible to collectively make decisions about urban transformations? How can we predict the destruction of a place and the construction of another?
This never-ending transformation of the city corresponds to upheavals that we can qualify by “post truth” or “alternative facts”.It seems increasingly delicate to establish a common reality as everyone seems to live in an isolated reality, whose common basis are vanishing. The best established facts are becoming doubtful. The most incredible accounts become then possible.
Alt.City suggests to open a poetic space upon this reversal and immerses us in that imaginary world through virtual reality which explores an alternative version to Abu Dhabi. Based on thousands of photographs taken in the city by the artist, an imaginary version of the place is automatically generated by a computer that opens news possibilities of representation. Abu Dhabi becomes a generated image from the town’s real memory. A new vision, without ground nor boundaries, and devoid of any limit from above and underneath, the city appears to spread in all directions. The machine imagines another possible version of the city, another world, inspired from ours and fundamentally different at the same time.
The installation is submerged in blue, a color usually used to make video inlays. The color becomes the indication of a substitution, of a movement, of a shift from one space into another and a reference to Deep Blue computer.
Alt.City, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, ÉAU (2017)