Cosmopolis, Overwriting the City

An interactive artistic and scientific multimedia exhibition on the major issues linked to the world urbanisation

Exhibited in Shanghai (Science Museum), ChongQing (3 Gorges Museum opening exhibition), Chengdu and Beijing, 25m diameter installation. The exhibition received more than 10 000 visitors/day in Shanghai

Cosmopolis endeavours to examine urban realities through people’s eyes. It is an artistic, and scientific interpretation of urbanization, making a visit a physical and intellectual experience.

The visitor enters a big, moving panorama of a constantly changing city. Twelve observation binoculars, much like those found at scenic lookout points, allow one to be surrounded 360° by twelve urban environments. Seven Occidental cities and five Asian cities: Paris , Berlin , Barcelona , Chicago , Johannesburg , Cairo , Sao Paulo , Beijing , Shanghai , Chongqing , Chengdu , Hong Kong , can thus be discovered, each from different viewpoints. Bearing no resemblance to the touristy landscapes one may expect to see, these scenes lay out major urban issues simply through a choice of viewpoint: transportation, environment, architecture, energy, health…

Only later does the visitor realize that his or her viewpoint through the VR binocular is “captured” and used to create the big panorama of Cosmopolis –the permanently mutating World City- at the centre of the exhibition. Little by little, a surprising city is built, both strange and familiar, the fruit of visitors’ intersecting gazes and visual experiences. The visitors seated in the centre of the exhibition witness this action, which is both artistically stunning and symbolically crucial: the City of Tomorrow must be the fruit of intersecting gazes and experiences.

At regular intervals, the big panorama is replaced by one of the urban landscapes, depicted via a scanning action that sweeps the entire circumference of the central space. It displays key areas in the form of words, sounds, and video images. In various spots, it points out the limitations of a urbanistic course or the solutions found that can be adopted elsewhere.

Cosmopolis is therefore a space for exchange and analysis, contemplation and action. It presages new ways of confronting major urban tendencies and makes Asian and Western viewpoints converge in a symbolic and interrogating way.

Exhibition places

  • Science Museum, Shanghai, China, 19/4-8/5 / 2005
  • Three Gorges Museum, ChongQing, China, 18/6-18/7 / 2005
  • Exhibition Center, Chengdu, China, 1/8-20/8 / 2005
  • Exhibition Center, Beijing, China, 17/9-28/9 / 2005

Production et conception artistique et scientifique

  • Creation: Maurice Benayoun
  • Production: Hugo Jacomet
  • Sound Design: Jean-Baptiste Barrière
  • Scientific Consulting: Jean-François Doulet
  • Artistic Consulting: Hou Hanru
  • Scenography: Maurice Benayoun / Olivier Ferracci / Samuel Jordan
  • Interactivity and Museography: CITU (University Paris 1 and University Paris 8)
  • Production Management: Murielle Jacomet
  • Production Coordination: Frédérique Jacomet
  • Technical Management: Samuel Jordan
  • Soft Development Management: Arnaud Balay
  • Shootings: Laurent Simonini & Alexander Brandt
  • Videos: Odile Fillon
  • Direction artistique contenus multimédias: Alexander Brandt

Comité scientifique coordoné par JEAN-FRANCOIS DOULET

  • Eva Serra / Urban planner (Barcelona)
  • Finn Geipel / Architect, teacher at the technical university of Berlin (Berlin)
  • Francis Beaucire / Urban planning professor at the university of Paris I – Pantheon Sorbonne (Paris)
  • Didier Rebois / Architect, teacher at the architecture school of Paris Val-de-Seine (Paris)
  • Anne Jaluzot / Urban planner (Chicago)
  • John Betancur / Urban planning professor at the university of Illinois (Chicago)
  • Tomas Morera / Urban planner (Sao Paulo)
  • Marcelo Tramontano / Architect, teacher at the university of Sao Paulo ( Sao Paulo )
  • Omneya Abdel Barr / Architect (Cairo)
  • Aurelia Wa Kabwe-Segatti / Director of the French Institute of South Africa ( Johannesburg )
  • Liu Jian / Architect, teacher at the architecture university of Tsinghua ( Beijing )
  • Pan Haixiao / Urban planning professor at the university of Tongji (Shanghai)
  • Zhao Wanmin / Urban planning professor at the university of Chongqing ( Chongqing )
  • Du Chunlan / Architecture school, university of Chongqing (Chongqing)
  • Guo Shiwei / Urban planner (Chengdu)
  • Tang Wingshing / Professor at the Baptist university of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
  • Gilles Guiheux / Director of the French Center of Chinese studies (Hong Kong)

Données techniques

  • Surface: 25mx25m (82 feetx82 feet), 600m2 approximately ( 2000 square feet ).

Équipements :

  • 12 écrans de rétroprojection, 4x3m
  • 12 projecteurs vidéo
  • 12 télescopes de réalité virtuelle
  • 12 écrans plasma
  • 38 PC
  • 24 hp…

Taille de la structure

  • Diamètre 22m cependant un espace supplémentaire autour de l’installation met en valeur la dimension spectaculaire un diamètre de 25 m peut être considéré comme minimum.
  • Hauteur 3.8m

télécharger le PDF de présentation complet (VF)

Download the original file (English) (written prior to the exhibition opening)

Cosmopolis, Overwriting the City
Giant interactive installation, VR telescopes, pan

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