Known for the captivating visions of his imaginary worlds, Liam Young’s work explores the impact of technology on people’s lives and its influence on the transformation and redefinition of cities. His work as a filmmaker and speculative architect has received international acclaim for its contribution to the design and visualisation of tomorrow’s cities, encouraging us to reflect on the challenges we face. Climate change and the challenges of a highly connected and automated world, where the vast opportunities offered by digitalisation must not conflict with privacy or employment, are some of the themes the filmmaker deals with in this exhibition.
The exhibition ‘Liam Young. Worldbuilding’, reflects the power of technology to transform society and build worlds. In his video installations, Young presents speculative worlds, but his pieces are fictions that start from in-depth and detailed research in which design, futures study and the creation of powerful audiovisual stories are woven together. Stories filmed with a laser scanner, autonomous drones and other digital techniques that, due to the potency of the images, captivate the spectator and are the result of his close collaboration with renowned experts, scientists and technologists.
This exhibition –that can be visited free of charge on the fourth floor of the Espacio Fundación Telefónica from 20 May to 20 November 2022– brings together the creator’s most striking works in the form of large video installations and shows two new production pieces specifically created for the exhibition.
Throughout the exhibition we find the installations ‘In the Robot Skies’, the first fiction short entirely recorded with autonomous drones; ‘Where the City Can’t See’, a journey around a city in the foreseeable future through the eyes of machines that control it; ‘Planet City’, a critical architecture project, a speculative fiction as a possible solution to the climate crisis based on research, statistical analysis and traditional knowledge; and ‘New City’ animations made from photographs taken on expeditions around the world to document the signs of emerging phenomena. There are also two new creation works: ‘The Great Endeavour’, a film documenting what could be humanity’s ‘largest building project’ to clear the atmosphere of CO2; and ‘Emissary’ , a new fictional probe, an emissary who will travel endlessly in order to explore other planets.
Liam Young’s projections are exhibited along with the models, photographs, clothes and other materials Young used to build his impressive stories. Fictions that reveal today’s threats and, at the same time, are a powerful source of inspiration to set in motion the mechanisms to deal with them.
This exhibition forms part of the Festival Urbano de Arte Digital de Madrid [Madrid Urban Digital Art Festival], MMMAD, program that takes place in the capital during the month of May and celebrates its third edition this year.