The sci-arch genre of Liam Young, as some have called it, develops narratives that engage viewers in discussions dealing with culture and relation to space. Planet City reimagines cohesive economic, political and cultural dynamics in the set up of a mega city where landscapes are subliminal—pillars of towers rise everywhere against clean settlements of water—and production systems are predictably efficient. However, Planet City goes beyond simple references to landscapes and production systems. Colonialism, environmentalism and urbanisation are only some of the complexities that the narrative is ground for.
Planned to host the entire world’s population—forecasted to be 10 billions of people in the near future, Planet City celebrates multiculturalism, technology and environmental awareness. In doing so, the Australian filmmaker proposes a radical model of modern urbanisation wherein citizens voluntarily seclude themselves to a small fraction of land—equal to 0,02% of the planet’s surface. The result is a mega city envisioned to thrive on the most sophisticated application of technologies that ensures sustainable, self-sufficient systems able to keep up with the demands of a densely-populated city. This extreme form of urbanisation, more importantly, “proposes to leave 99.98% of the planet for re-wilding and the return of stolen lands. A reversal of the colonialist project,” explains Liam Young.
In Planet City inhabitants coexist harmoniously next to each other regardless cultural and social differences; that makes the city vibrant and a place to celebrate life on a 365 day loop festivity. In the city “we meet people in costumes celebrating this new space. We meet workers, harvesting algae farms, donning a mask after work to join in the parade—the constant moving celebration of life in a utopian moment,” says Ane Crabtree, the costume director of the film.
The 15-minute film was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne, and it's on part of the exhibition NGV Triennial running from 15 December until 18 April, 2021. Here you can read the interviews with Liam Young and Ane Crabtree discussing the complexities of the film.
+ Words: Alejandra Espinosa, Luxiders Magazine Editor
Liberal Arts graduate | Berlin-based writer
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