metaMorphological research explores the speculative form of the city by examining the shape of the urban environment and its cultural landscape, emphasizing the significance of technology and the rules of media platforms for the creation of urban loci. metaNAR was an attempt to apply this framework to the border city of Narva, where we introduced a new, synthetic landscape.
We leveraged GANs and style extraction (neural style transfer without the content loss, in collaboration with Rheza Budiono) to encourage discussion and broaden speculation about the condition and future of a city, about the way in which its complexities might unravel. Through experimenting with these technologies in Narva’s post-industrial landscape, we eventually arrived at a place of hope: that computer vision, large-scale image analysis, and cartography, when coalesced, can be tools for abstracting the shapes and functions of a city, unleashing the collective imagination of groups, giving them the capacity to redefine their own environment.
We are proposing to write an article about the use of new digital media as tools for reconfiguring the imagination of contemporary cities. Our work in Narva, described briefly above, is featured on the website https://metanar.com