Can we understand the contemporary city at a moment when globalization has ex­ploded beyond our grasp? Have we lost control of its quantities or can we analyze its components and manipulate them? Imagine a city that is described only by data, a city that wants to be explored only as information. A city that knows no given topog­raphy, no prescribed ideology, no representation and no context: only huge pure data. This research, exhibition and accompanying book explore the ramifications of data in this context.



Locations: Stroom Den Haag, Centre for Visual Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands (1998-1999)

1st Biennale, Architecture, Art and Landscape Art Centre, La Regenta, Canary Island (2006-2007)



METACITY/DATATOWN is based on an extrapolation of Dutch statistics. Though the Netherlands seems a dreamland for economics, culture, and production, it remains suspicious to follow its doctrine. The accessibility of statistical information does make it a useful instrument for extrapolation. Datatown follows a classical approach of defining the boundaries of a city, namely that the urban size is equivalent to one hour of travelling. The mass use of the car leads in the 1980s to cities of about 80 km like the Randstad or Los Angeles. And now, with the bullet train, the city can equal 400 km. Datatown can, therefore, be defined as a city of 400 by 400 km. Datatown is dense – let us say 4 times as dense as the Netherlands, one of the densest countries in the world. The installation MCDT was created in 1998. It consists of a walk-in cube on which a four-dimensional movie is showing. Since it has been rebuilt on several occasions all over the world and it has for instance recently been on display in The Netherlands, Spain and China. 



Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries

Design Team: Winy Maa, Bas van Neijenhof, Fokke Moerel with Gabriela Bojalil, Eline Wieland, Marino Gouwens, Penelope Dean, Jose Castillo, Patricia Cezario Silva,  Chistroph Schindler, Mathurin Hardel, Margeritha Salmeron Espinosa, Ximo Peris Casado

Photography: Hans Werlemann, Rotterdam, NL

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