Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Urban Future

How can I, as a visual artist, question, with the use of the archive-based project Urban Future, the global development of urbanization and its underlying notions of chaos and complexity?

I began the project ‘Urban Future’ in 2002. The aim of my research is to reflect on global urbanization in years to come, primarily through the medium of photography.

The project is a sculptural construct in which concepts including space, orientation, networks and spatial presentation models are discussed. I actively engage in the debate on urban changes that affect the world, and particularly on how this world, and ultimately our own living environment, might look in the future. The research is focused on new meanings that arise from a non-aligned position of art, which can influence debates and provide new insights. I examine how I can create images that offer new perspectives on ideas about the development of global urbanization and its underlying processes.

My starting point is a large archive of photographs and films I made since the beginning of the ‘Urban Future’ project. I research different interpretations and categories of the archive, which provides new valuable knowledge and influences conceptualizations in the field of global urbanization. In this research I also address the topic of visualizing urban development.

Within the current debate I reflect on ideas of ‘progress’ and on the values of failure and the entropic character in urban developments.

Connection with other research