WEB: Mirage City, Japan

Mirage City, Japan

The bad news about the Tokyo Intercommunication Center's website is that you have to wade through the usual overblown art-tech language about "provocative and primordial ideas; diffusion and solitude, emergence and disappearance, language and silence, love and death, transcendence and transgression." The good news is that some of the artists represented here have made some pretty neat robots, and you get to look at neat pictures of them. So despite all the awkward jargon and Romulan artist statements, the site features some compelling elements. There are "visual music systems" and "perception-driven architecture" and "electro-acoustic clothing" and all manners of entertainment fit for Buck Rogers. (And not the Buster Crabbe Buck Rogers either; we're in Gil Gerard territory here.)

Most interesting, perhaps, is Arata Isozaki's "Mirage City--Another Utopia," which presents the viewer with "Haishi," an imaginary island located 1.5 kilometers off Macao. The project invites people from around the world, from established architects to knobs like you and me, to dream up a Utopian city of the future--no phat pants? free outdoor drum'n'bass concerts in the summertime?--and then submit them via fax, e-mail, and CAD file.

At present not all of the architects have answered, but as their input comes in, Isozaki will change the computer-rendered models appropriately. Check out Yuri Avvakumov's submission from Moscow, the Flying Proletarian, which looks like the skeleton of a Spanish galleon (complete with oars) suspended high above the city by two large radio towers. And you thought the new Target on Nicollet was bad?

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