Anil Camci / USA
University of Illinois at Chicago
SYNTHCITY is a generative audiovisual installation which constantly creates unrealistic versions of a city by algorithmically blending its real landscapes, objects, sounds and people. In doing so, this work aims to highlight our acculturation to modern means of industrialization, and its often-ignored impact on social and civic systems. In Soundscape theory, lo-fi acoustic environments are those that exhibit an overpopulation of sonic elements. A lo-fi soundscape is often the mark of an industrialized urban environment; the acoustic affordances of such an environment are deemed disproportionate to human physiology, and can be amplified to hazardous levels. SYNTHCITY explores the relationship between hi-fi and and lo-fi acoustic environments from a multimodal perspective: as it computationally blends organic and inorganic sound-producing objects, and resonant spaces of a city, it does so in both the auditory and the visual domains. The result is an uncanny mixture of mundane objects that are out of proportion and out of place. By contrasting the thresholds of audiovisual stimulation in various parts of a city, it realigns the viewer’s perspective on what tends to be regarded as natural or comfortable in everyday environments.