Director: Studio Smack
Studio Smack is a creative lab based in The Netherlands. Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels and Bйla Zsigmond formed Studio Smack in 2005.
2010 — The Transparency Suit, tailor-made suit, in collaboration with Graphic Design Festival Breda
2008 — The Margins, duration: 1.27 m, commissioned by Festival Mundial, Tilburg
2007 — Factory Farm, duration: 2.29 m, commissioned by ON B.V., Amsterdam
2003 — Televisie, duration: 3.00 m
Courtesy of Studio Smack
It is well-known that city space is initially not a bunch of residential and administrative objects, placed according to a certain structure or scheme. The city is also a medial surface where many sign systems are put together in order to reveal city state, its economic and political reality. Moreover, despite communication technologies development, a modern city still is a space of different narrations, mostly having propaganda and manage- ment nature. Urban landscape is an entwined image of visual manifestations, often non-interrelated signs, and in process of mutual interaction these symbols create previously unknown constructions that sometimes do not work as planned. Modern megalopolises streets are filled with chaos, where the audience is presented with 24-hours show; its characters being brands and slogans are able to lead a person into the world of their own aggressive representation. Sometimes this bright landscape eclipses everything but a never-ending flow of changing images.
Kapitaal, Studio Smack’s video, is an example with no complex definitions and very clear representation of the fact that city space is an exact reflec- tion of the society state, the one existing among alternate flows of global assets. Stylistically this movie, created by laconic computer animation, refers to some unfinished projects of architecture avant-garde, like Ivan Leonidov’s or Antonio Sant’Elia’s ones. But its conceptual space formed by very easily identified stylistics has nothing to do with any creative expressions. Kapitaal is a critical gesture made via aesthetic model, predominat- ing in modern visual culture.
By imitating city resident’s route, the artists record the city space without any national or cultural identity signs. A virtual city with its architectural uniqueness being obscured under a dark surface develops in its cycled eternity and is impossible to retain in memory. The movie does not have any original architectural monuments, streets have schematic view like sketches of communications on draft projects. A special place in this unified world is taken by main unification manifests, that are advertizing, international brands logotypes. They are icons created in accordance with general perception criteria that turn all the cities and settlements alike.
Even occasional graffiti prints as remnants of residency are subject to aggressive nature of modern advertizing that puts any signs on a sidewalk. At the same time graphic design as a major instrument of consumerism expropriates hand-writing vitality; graffiti prints start to look like logotypes and vice versa. City of capital is laconic narration filled with apocalyptic horror and signifying new world coming that is still under construction but promises to become a wide-spread reality in the nearest future.