Liam Young

Where the City Can't See

Where the City Can’t See is the first narrative fiction film shot entirely with the laser scanning technology used in self-driving vehicle navigation. In a Chinese-owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone, a group of young auto workers drifts around in a driverless taxi searching for a place they know exists but that their car doesn’t recognize. They are part of an underground community in which people adorn themselves in machine-vision camouflage and anti-facial recognition masks to enact escapist fantasies in the city’s hidden spaces.

Liam Young, born in Brisbane in 1979, lives and works in Los Angeles and London. He is a speculative architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank that explores the local and global implications of new technologies, and of Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. He has taught at the Architectural Association and Princeton University and now runs the groundbreaking Master of Arts program in Fiction and Entertainment at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles.

This work is part of the Dimensions of Citizenship Transit Screening Lounge, a rest stop under the US Pavilion rotunda that presents citizenship through a lens of movement: migration, transgression, transmission, travel, and mobility.

Project Credits

Liam Young