"Stadtwirklichkeit" by Michael Wolf and Sascha Kempe (D) is a platform for the construction of artificial worlds.


Stadtwirklichkeit; project shot

Borrowing the metaphor from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities the application invites users to imagine their own 'invisible city'. Whilst the visitor of the website meanders through abstract 3D spaces, five of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities are described by voice and interactive sound installations.

If the visitor is attracted to a certain city, he or she may decide to move in. At this stage the user will be asked to imagine his own 'urban reality'. To do so the user describes his or her idea using his or her own words and chooses an image to go with it. Thus the visitor becomes an architect; his or her model becomes a virtual 'building' of the city. Represented by an abstract form, this creation can be visited by others.

The artists believe that reality is constituted through a shared process, is built by agreement and concession. Therefor all visitors of Stadtwirklichkeit take part in the decision making process of how developed the individual models may become. Whilst just recently uploaded statements are translucent and almost invisible, others which have won more votes turn out more opaque and solid. This process can also be reversed by "negative votes". In this case the models become pale, are less and less visible and finally don't exist anymore.

This project received the Digital-Sparks 2001 prize.



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