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Artistic Reactions to Progress

Part of: Dreams of Progress exhibition.


Mardi Gras, Keith Loutit, Australia, 2009 – 3min.

“Mardi Gras is the 7th short film in the 12 month documentary project ‘Little Sydney’.

The idea behind ‘Little Sydney’ is to shrink mankind down to a scale that is more representative of our actual position in the world. By transforming well known locations and daily life, I challenge people to take a second look at places familiar to them and not to take their surroundings for granted.”

Soundtrack “Throwing Shadows At The Wall” by Shawn Lee, http://www.keithloutit.comVideo:

McCOOL!!!, Julian Roberts and Namalee Bolle, UK, 2007 – 2 min.

“No.4 in the Relentless Optimism Series entitled McCOOL!!!. Here Namalee Bolle consumes a Super Big Mac. There’s no real script for the Relentless Optimism Series of videos, other than we both wanted to shoot a series of optimistic videos that were  unrehearsed, recorded, edited & released in a single day.”

video deleted by creator


Tokyo.Future, Ian Lynam, Japan, 2007 – 1 min.

“The video is about a modular, utopian Tokyo of the future. The constant rebuilding and perpetual evolution of the city is displayed, as is a galactic voyage taken by the entire megalopolis. Tokyoites are great travellers (especially in groups), so I imagined that the future denizens of Tokyo would pack up and go sightseeing around the universe together, much like the Tokyoites of the Edo period.”

Commissionedby Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo for the NHK television.Soundtrack byIan Lynam, YACHT, and E*Rock.Artist: http://www.ianlynam.comVideo:


Mardi Gras by Keith Loutit [2009] is part of a video series that the artist made using a specific photographic technique. Everything seems small, like in a model city – people look like figurines. Mardi Gras in Sydney inspires happiness and liveliness. But seeing the event in fast-forward makes it look fairly predictable, as though it was part of a big figurine play. Is this an ideal, orchestrated happiness?

McCOOL!!! By Julian Roberts and Namalee Bolle [2007] is an episode of the series “Relentless optimism”. The main character genuinely enjoys eating her Big Mac. She seems to have some ideals; love is written on her hands. The world looks stressful and dark outside of the McDonalds. Inside, the music is light-hearted and nobody disturbs her from enjoying  her meal. Only the viewer can decide if her pleasure should be embraced or discouraged, whether or not McDonalds restaurants are little places of heaven or symbols of dystopia.

Tokyo.Future by Ian Lynam [2007] tells the story of a city becoming a living being on its own. Signs of human activity are visible at first, but the city soon imposes itself as the main character. The viewer can then wonder if people are still living their own lives, or if they merely became the cells of a conscientious supra entity. Tokyo.future goes beyond the few next decades and imagines what the ultimate destination of humanity will be.

Go back to the exhibition’s homepage: Dreams of Progress

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