"The Legible City"
Jeffrey SHAW dot

photo : KIOKU Keizo

Created in the early days of media art, this is one historical work that represents the use of interactivity as a characteristic element of media art in the 1990s.

Images of a city made by 3D computer graphics are projected onto a screen. Each building in the city is a letter of the alphabet. These letters are arranged in rows along the streets to form words and sentences. A bicycle (exercise bike) installed in the exhibition space functions as an interface, which visitors can ride and pedal through the streets to decipher the text. This city made up of words is in fact a simulation of actually existing cities, as it was created based on maps of the cities of Manhattan, Amsterdam and Karlsruhe. The text in Manhattan consists of eight fictional stories in which such characters as taxi drivers and the mayor of New York City (at the time) appear, while the other two texts were taken from documents of historical events.

Shown in this exhibition is a reproduction of the work that was made as part of the "digital art conservation project" initiated at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (Germany). Regarding the conservation of media art, up to this point ZKM (and many other museums) have been focusing mainly on the conservation of hardware. At present, methods for conserving works of art are being discussed, including repairing, reproducing, and rewriting programs in cases where the computers that were used to create the original work are no longer available.

(ZKM Collection)

Jeffrey SHAW Profile
Born 1944 in Melbourne. Carrying out numerous experiments in art form with new media since the late 1960s while based in London and Amsterdam, and creating interactive works for visitors to participate since the late 1980s, SHAW is still active as a leading figure in the realm of media art today. His frequent collaborations with engineers and programmers have resulted in a large number of works that contain new meanings and perspectives on technology.
Past Exhibition / Event

related event

Artists' Talk, Lecture & Talk session
Part 1: Artists' Talk
Jeffrey SHAW

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 2:00pm - [Finished]
| >Details |

related event

Artists' Talk, Lecture & Talk session
Part 2: Lecture & Talk session
Bernhard SEREXHE
(Chief Curator, ZKM | Media Museum)

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 4:00pm - [Finished]
| >Details |