Benjamin Bardou is a French artist and filmmaker working on visual experiments in urban environments. He has made a series of short films in which different spatial components are displayed. The images move like a fluid between the humans of the scene, like the formalization of an unsuspected collective consciousness. Nevertheless, these distorted realities seem to come out of a dream and take us away from the subjects represented, evolving in a different rhythm from the spectator.
These urban atmospheres are part of the Megalopolis project, an urban area developed in the aftermath of the World Wars. This post-apocalyptic context, Akira-esque, saw the birth of a unique city, whose origin seems to have been forgotten. This city is built like a Babylon of modern times, diversifying origins, atmospheres and influences to create a new style.
Each of these visual poems relates, as a backdrop, the construction of a city. A simulated city, built around a deserted old Paris and converted into a multitude of immersive visual experiences. Artificial Intelligence is converted into Artificial Imagination and becomes omniscient. This city, built by data, has an evolutionary physiognomy. Paris is a Westworld-like digital park, where you can relive the great historical events. Around a first ring road, new districts have been built on the former suburbs. Large buildings mixing futuristic influences and atmospheres.
Benjamin Bardou proposes in his series of Micropolis experiments, extracts of this city, each marked by a different work on the buildings. In these researches we can find some influences of Asian cyberpunk city like ghost in the shell, the slums topped with rain-drenched neon by night from Blade Runner, or the scale of the buildings and urban sprawl of Coruscant. While the city is under constant construction, one can only hope to be able to visit it virtually in a future visual experience.
La forme d’une ville change plus vite, hélas, que le coeur des mortels
The shape of a city, as we all know, changes more quickly than the mortal heart.
– Charles Baudelaire