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Group Video Installation Created for the United Nations Pavilion at World Expo 2010
Vincent Callebaut Architecte, Dragonfly, A Metabolic Farm for Urban Agriculture (2009) Concept rendering. Courtesy of the artist.
OAKLAND, CA.- Art Works For Change presents The Nature of Cities, a group video installation created for the United Nations Pavilion at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. Guided by the Expo theme “Better City, Better Life” the exhibition presents 16 short videos from artists, animators and architects from around the world addressing the theme of urban biodiversity.

The exhibition illustrates the relationship between the urban and natural environments, proposing new ways forward that acknowledge the necessity of
human habitats and the fragile state of our ecosystems. Created with design and previsualization by Zoetrope Aubry Productions, the exhibition is presented as a series of six looped videos played across six separate monitors divided in four parts: “The City as Metabolism”, “Cities Liquid Assets: Water”, “Why Cities Need Nature”, and “Nature as Model and Mentor”.

“We are extraordinarily excited to stage The Nature of Cities in a setting as visible as the Shanghai World Expo, where it is expected to be viewed by roughly one million visitors over the course of the month” explained Director and Chief Curator Randy Jayne Rosenberg. “China is a community that is critical to the advancement of this cause, and it is our sincere hope that these visitors leave with an understanding of how cities can exist in a way that supports both people and the planet.”

Selected projects include the concept work by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, Dragonfly, A Metabolic Farm for Urban Architecture, which explores how to bring the garden back to an urban environment and rethink the durability of the city and food production in a vertical farm modelled after a dragonfly wing. Slurb by Marina Zurkow, employs the technique of presenting anthropomorphic figures to address grave social concerns. In this case, aquatic humans in a post-apocalyptic flooded city interact in a darkly whimsical animated panorama. Cao Fei, in the Birth of RMB City, reflects on China’s recent urban and cultural explosion, fusing ancient and modern Chinese icons, and blurring the distinction between fantasy architecture and the rapidly developing contemporary Chinese cities. As a final exapmple, Anthony Discenza’s Drift highlights the fleeting and arbitrary nature of much of contemporary urban planning by presenting city blocks as a constantly shifting video mosaic.

Artists on view
Allora & Calzadilla; Vincent Callebaut Architectures; Rob Carter; Catherine Chalmers; Ri Crawford; Anthony Discenza; Cao Fei; Lane Hall & Lisa Moline; Katja Loher; Kevin Nolting & Team; Sven Pahlsson; Kahn/Selesnick; Molly Schwartz; Marina Zurkow.

Oakland | Art Works For Change | "The Nature of Cities" | Randy Jayne Rosenberg |


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