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Where The City Can't See

Directed by speculative architect Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan and designed ‘Where the City Can’t See’ is the world’s first narrative fiction film shot entirely with laser scanners. The computer vision systems of driverless cars goggle maps, urban management systems and CCTV surveillance are now fundamentally reshaping urban experience and the cultures of our city. Set in the Chinese owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot using the same scanning technologies used in autonomous vechicles, we see this near future city through the eyes of the robots that manage it.
Exploring the subcultures that emerge from these new technologies the film follows a group of young car factory workers across a single night, as they drift through the smart city point clouds in a driverless taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that the map doesn’t show. They are part of an underground community that work on the production lines by day but at night, adorn themselves in machine vision camouflage and the tribal masks of anti-facial recognition to enact their escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city. They hack the city and journey through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous landscapes, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. We have always found the eccentric and imaginary in the spaces the city can’t see.
Where the City Can’t See is commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and St Helens Heart of Glass & University of Salford Art Collection. Produced by Liam Young and Abandon Normal Devices, with support from Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works and funding from Arts Council England.
Directed by Liam Young Screenplay by Tim Maughan Staring Levon Rector and Monique Sypkens Choreographer Thomasin Gülgeç Dancers Thomasin Gülgeç, Eryck Brahmania, Sabrina Gargano, Laura Wood Post Production Jacob Falk, Daniele Profeta, Paul Krist Teaser Track 'Deep Breathing' by Shigeto Courtesy of Ghostly Records Technical Consultants Scatter LIDAR Costumes Liam Young and Jennifer Chen Facial Camouflage Consultant Adam Harvey Special Thanks Alexey Marfin

UK Crew Assistant Director Jennifer Chen Styling by Elizabeth Black and Susan Marsh Hair by Kaizo Hair / Shoreditch Makeup by Philippe Miletto Produced by AND Festival

LA Crew On Location Jacob Falk and Alexey Marfin Makeup Cheyanne Armstrong Photograher Eva Huang Runners Hamzah Mohammed and Jiansen Huang
Additional support from Leica, Ghostly Records


Liam Young

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  • Speculative Architect

Project Tags

  • Laser
  • film
  • Film Direction

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