A city is a living entity, a constantly changing whole that is capable of remembering and learning its own movements. As with any living being, it has its own unique rhythm, a certain ebb and flow, that is dependent on the relationship between its many networks and urban ecosystems. The interplay of its people, physicality and environment makes up its essence, an imperceivable dance that until now has remained largely invisible. For Seoul Haemong, Refik Anadol Studio collaborated with the DDP and City of Seoul to create a public art installation that showcased this otherwise uncontainable soul.

Using the Zaha Hadid Architects’ DDP Building as a canvas, the performance collaborated with the mind of a machine to unearth the materiality of this structure and explore the architecture of memory itself. Upon unveiling DDP’s architectural form, the building set the stage for the exploration of a new kind of topographic memory, revealing upon its face the city’s collective histories. Choreographing this piece began by collecting 11 millions of public data from the city in the form of the citizens’ stories. These visual stories come in the form of archival and personal photographs and documents – individual and communal narratives that offer a window into the past and hopes for the future. Using the machine mind (AI) to  see the connections between these intimate visual memories, the performance transported viewers from a limited sense of place into a multi-dimensional  spatial journey that visualized an otherwise intangible understanding of space and time. Likewise, upon synthesizing those memories, alternate realities of Seoul were imagined, revealing the collective consciousness of the city based on the interconnectedness of those individual ones. 

Location
DDP, Seoul, KR
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Dates
21/12/2019 – 01/08/2020

Details
Custom VVVV Software
28 Channel 4K Video
22 Channel Surround Sound

Credits
Refik Anadol
Christian Burke
Nicholas Boss
Efsun Erkilic
Carrie He
Daniel Seungmin Lee
Toby Heinemann
Pelin Kivrak
Ho Man Leung
Kyle McLean
Alex Morozov
Christina Moushoul
Raman K. Mustafa
Nidhi Parsana
Julia Pryde Thompson
HyeJi Yang

Sound Design
Kerim Karaoglu

Collaborators
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
CEO Kyung-ran Choi
Sey Min
City of Seoul
Dot-Mill

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11,050,511 Images of Seoul
City of Seoul / Historic Dataset
Data Universe of Seoul
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Seoul
Haemong
Public Art  —  A/V Performance  —  Installation
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