Cities and Urban Cultures are permanent sources of inspiration for artists and scientists, as well as for utopists and defeatists. The city pre-eminently is an expression of ideals in which ideas about functionality and beauty, equality and happiness are given shape and architecture and (infra)structure meet with imagination, desire and resistance. Developments in society and cultural trends usually originate from a metropolitan environment where people meet, inspire and provoke each other and where the dynamics and technical facilities required to develop these ideas quickly are present.
New media change the notion of public space. Next to public space, there is nowadays also virtual space. These spaces enhance each other, influence each other’s appearance and merge. (Augmented Reality, Ubiquitous Computing). Street culture more than ever is an audiovisual culture: jogging with your iPod, boom boxes, mobile phones with speakers, portable DVD players, and scenes (skate, parkour, etc.) putting their films on YouTube.
‘Matrix City’ maps out the urban landscape as platform and source for inspiration for contemporary artists. The city is viewed as a gathering place of subcultures and communities and for typical urban art-forms like street-art, grafitti and parkours. The presentation sheds some light on the more political issues as the relationship between public space and private space and on the question who is in charge over public space. Also the city is presented as an immersive audiovisual environment, as a modal structure in which virtual and real systems merge.