Urban Terrarium is a 3-screen panoramic video installation animating an imaginary cityscape. The animated metropolis contains many details of city life, architecture, people, cars, construction workers, all animated in subtle ways. Based on cities I have visited and from my own imagination, neither a past, present or future space but a hybrid world mashed up by mass media and globalization. Characters walk up the street or appear in windows, washing dishes, dancing, arguing and embracing their daily life routine in small repetitive actions. Flemish Renaissance paintings of Pieter Breugel the Elder and Hieronymus Bosch inspire the composition. Fantastical costumed creatures saunter past a homeless girl begging for change. The viewer is constantly distracted by the many moving details. Day shifts to night and loops back to day. The images are playful, saturated by symbolism and surrealism. Habitants are lost in the details of the metropolitan resembling ants in their terrarium farm.
Urban Terrarium is part of a larger series of work Video Terrariums, which is a collection of panoramic video landscapes using multiple screens and integrating various animation/compositing techniques to reference scenic dioramas as one might find in a natural history museum illustrating a variety of habitats.