Exploded Views 2.0 is an immersive installation in which visitors physically navigate through a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere of audiovisual 3D cityscapes.
Playing with the possibilities offered by the combination of movement and 3D interactive imagery, the installation purposefully places the viewer in a strongly absorptive experience, but what is actually offered contradicts this positioning by mediating a disconnected experience of the city.
Exploded Views 2.0 investigates the representation of global urban environments and comments on the prominent role the World Wide Web has assumed in constructing our view of the world and ultimately, on what we perceive as reality. In contrast to the previous version of the installation from 2008, the content for 3D city landscapes is provided by users of social media platforms. The work analyzes GPS tags of all the pictures available on photo-sharing community websites (such as Flickr) and reconstructs the top 400 most photographed locations into 3D. The work represents the world according to the way it is photographically represented on the web.
With Exploded Views 2.0 de Nijs remarks on how the ever-growing amount of digital images available on the Internet is rapidly substituting reality as the prime source for shaping our view of the world. Online visual content, shared pictures of city landscapes and events, are simulacra – as defined in Jean Baudrillard's seminal work Simulation and Simulacra – wherein that which is being simulated is presented and received not as a simulation but as an original. The originals may no longer exist, may never have existed, or their significance has been dwarfed in comparison to the simulacra, which attains a level of primacy and authenticity that traditionally had been the exclusive province of the original. (Shanken, Edward Art and Electronic Media, London: Phaidon Press, 2009)
Producer/artist: Marnix de Nijs
Co-producer: V2_Institute for the Unstable Media
Software development: V2_Lab
Scene-reconstruction: Michael Goesele, TU Darmstadt
Interactive installation with custom software, projectors, screen, soundsystem.
STRP Festival, Eindhoven (NL), 17.-27.11.2011: Première