April 29, 2012

The Instant City

The citizens of Farmville hated their life. They lived in such an awful, low quality, orthogonal environment.

They desperately wanted to escape, but were terrified to leave their home. Google Earth was all they knew of the outside world...

Nevertheless, a group of punk outcasts banded together to plan what would be their new home away from home: a spectacular utopian dream place. They called themselves the Farmville Five.

They collectively drew the plan of their new city in a remarkable twenty three seconds. It didn't take long, but they all agreed it was a timeless and monumental design. They dubbed this radical vision the Instant City dreamed of its geometrical purity in the most romantic of ways.

With new web-site cities popping up everywhere, the group decided to make their city as fast as possible. But alas! In the chaos and hastiness to make their dreams come true, they built the city from a low quality copy of their original plans.

They caught the mistake, but it was too late. Someone had saved their Instant City for Web & Devices in Photoshop, as a Low (0) Quality JPEG. It was to too late. The City was already rendering, ever so slowly. 

The geometrical purity and crispness of their plan was decimated by the beeps and boops of three story tall pixels in the most disorienting of manners. It was cold and eerily quiet, as the Farmville Five decided to sleep under the stars, in the streets of their hastily made Instant City.

The sun rose the next morning. The buildings of the Instant City were still rendering, but now their disturbed massing was more evident: ten-story behemoths articulated with potholes, wavy depressions, and a relentless - almost maddening - softness. The crispness of Farmville was nowhere to be found.

Curiosity filled the streets as the mistake-ridden plan was cautiously explored. Never before had the preciseness of the computer yielded such unpredictable results... 

It was a strange and terrifying place. Buildings shook and shuttered in the wind, which came whipping down along massive boulevards. This spatialization of pixels had never been seen on such a massive scale before. 

One of the Farmville Five was found disoriented atop one of the highest buildings, occupying a rather unruly pixel. He was quiet and contemplative, and seemed disturbingly at home among the bloopers.

Some of the Others had began setting up furniture and claiming territory in the newly discovered landscape. The Instant City was coming alive in the most unplanned of ways.

The outskirts of the Instant City were a mess. Nothing was planned. To make matters worse, the landscape was full of hasily defined Grasshopper scripts and Google Sketchup components. These follies appeared as quickly as the vanished, however, until one accidentally became baked into the infrastructure of the city.

These fringe areas of the City were a maze of complexity, stripped of the borrowed nostalgia the Farmville Five had grown accustomed to. Oh, how to escape from this uselessness!!??

They made their way back to the VRay Core, where the City was at its most spectacular.

Here, the buildings were still empty, but full of energy. Hastily made skins of steel and glass all generated from a 23 second Sharpie marker line sketch. Just as new cars have their distinctive "new car smell," the buildings of the Instant City smelled of iPhone and document scanning apps, Rhinoceros commands (especially Heightfield from Image & Contouring), Grasshopper Piping definitions, Google Sketchup Warehouse components (21st century readymades), and default VRay Materials...a very plastic-y smell.

Farmville seemed endlessly far away and the group was homesick...

...and lost amidst the ruins of the future.


Anonymous said...

this is most definitely "mannerist parametricism"

marble floor border said...

Very thoughtful. how to escape from this uselessness & nostalgia!
- Herman Swan