Where the City Can't See

Type: Movie

Year: 2017

Directed by speculative architect Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan ‘Where the City Can’t See’ is the world’s first fiction film made entirely from data. Produced in association with AND Festival the film is currently being shot and will première in summer 2016.


The computer vision systems of Google maps, urban management systems and CCTV surveillance are now fundamentally reshaping urban experience and the cultures of our city. Set in the Chinese owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot using laser scanners, we see this near future city through the eyes of the robots that manage it.


Exploring the subcultures that emerge from these new technologies the film follows a collection of young factory workers across a single night, as they drift through the smart city point clouds in a driver-less taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that the map doesn’t show.


They are part of an underground community that work on the production lines by day but at night, adorn themselves in machine vision camouflage costumes and the tribal masks of anti-facial recognition to enact their escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city.


They hack the city and journey through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous landscapes, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. We have always found the eccentric and imaginary in the spaces the city can’t see.


All Images credits: Stills from the Movie 'Where the City Can't See".

Director: Liam Young

Writer: Tim Maughan

Assistant Director: Jennifer Chen

Technical Director and Lead Animator: Daniele Profeta