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Text as urban landscape

by Critical Commons Manager

The materialization of text in an urban landscape is nowhere more in evidence than in French designer Antoine Bardou-Jacquet's video for Alex Gopher's The Child. Bardou-Jacquet's all-textual rendering of New York city borrows its basic concept from Jeffrey Shaw's Legible City project from the late 1980s, while stripping narrative volition away from the viewer. Whereas Shaw's project allows reader-users to simulate moving through geographically and architecturally correct streets of Amsterdam, Manhattan, or Karlsruhe on a stationary bicycle while reading the text of a story mapped onto buildings in the city, The Child delivers a high-speed chase through the streets of New York City with both landmarks and people rendered as all text. The tension that exists in these works hinges on the conflict between real and constructed environments, as well as the insistent interplay of surface and depth.

Alex Gopher 'The Child' Music Video

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French design firm H5 created this city built from words partially inspired by Jeffrey Shaw's Legible City

from The Child (1999)
Creator: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet
Posted by Ala' Diab