Imaginary Futures


Session Title:

  • Participation, Urban Screen, Public Art

Presentation Title:

  • Imaginary Futures




  • Imaginary Futures project establishes a relationship between the projections of the future and the fulfillment of these projections. Project promotes questioning heritage of social vision, in this case, the legacy of the ‘utopian urbanism’ in the 1960s, and today’s social awareness through the problem of planning the urban area.

    The project consists of series of artworks, film Zagreb Confidential – Imaginary Futures, video triptych Panorama, and now-in-progress interactive installation. In the movie I used archival footage of New Zagreb (1950s – present day), and computer generated images of both planned and partially realized urban development plans and their various phases. Project examines the visions of future in the specific case of New Zagreb on the one hand, and the structure of the film on the other. Film is conceived as the structure of time in general, and this notion was leading force behind creation of the structure of Zagreb Confidential.

    Most of the editing was carried out automatically, and not according to footage quality. Mathematically exact dynamic of moving video images was achieved by using algorithmic editing, which follows classical mathematical algorithms such as the Fibonacci sequence, magical squares of different sizes, etc. By using this method, the idea of a “higher order” and ideal measures used in antiquity, the Renaissance and Modernism, in modern urbanism and art in general (e.g. the golden ratio) are put into question.

    The algorithms were used to determine the duration of the basic unit of the digital video image, one of the 25 frames in a second. When using such algorithms, it is hard to predict what the result will be, so this method required a lot of experimentation, in the strictest sense of the word. With the help of a team of experts in various areas, I made an experimental film in the true sense of the word which, like any structural film, does not aim to please the viewer by presenting him or her with visual pleasing images and a linear narrative.

    Video triptych Panorama making use of one only algorithm, that of the magic square (7th order), also called Magic Square of Venus. Centuries old algorithm is used it at time axe, using 1 frame as basic unit (25 FPS). The numbers associated with Venus are 7, 49, 175 and 1225. This is because: 1) each row and column of the magic square contains seven numbers. 2) the square contains 49 numbers total, ranging from 1 to 49. 49 frames are 7 seconds in film. 3) each row, column and diagonal adds up to 175. And 4) all of the numbers in the square add up to 1225. It shows that this number making 49 seconds in film (7 x 7 seconds)!