Liam Young is an Australian born film director and speculative architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. His first virtual reality artwork, Planet City, debuted at 2021 Asian Digital Art Exhibition at Times Art Museum,Beijing. The artwork, created in partnership with HTC VIVE Arts, will be on view from 23 July to 31 August, 2021.
Planet City is a VR experience set in an imaginary city for 10 billion people, the entire population of earth, where we surrender the rest of the world to a global scaled wilderness and the return of stolen lands. As Planet City grows slowly around the audience, they are immersed in the creation story of the city. It is narrated by a young girl, one its first citizens as today some of the most significant climate activists are not aging politicians or spokespeople of outmoded institutions but vibrant and engaged youth activists. This is a story of a generation taking back a future that has been stolen from them, simultaneously an extraordinary image of tomorrow and an urgent examination of the environmental questions facing us today.
Planet City is a dollhouse VR experience where audiences are surrounded by a city for 10 billion people that grows slowly around them. Within a 2 x 2 meter zone, in a standing position they are able to peer around buildings and through windows, step between buildings, look up into the city towering above them and down into the depths of the city below. An original spatial score by musician Forest Swords and vocalist EMEL accompanies and narration of the creation story of the city by celebrated child actress Chloe Coleman.
Image credit: Stills for VR work Planet City, courtesy Liam Young