Jasmin Aber, coordinator of UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban Design and Regional Development & Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, guest-curates this brief survey of new approaches to integrating technology into the built environment. Via photographs, schematic renderings and video simulations, the exhibit presents examples of contemporary urban structures that have been outfitted with reactive digital programs to produce large-scale light displays and other 2-D projections of computer-generated information stimulated by public interaction and/or shifting environmental conditions. The zeitgeist — evidently flourishing in global metropolises Berlin, Beijing and London — is a multivalent one, addressing issues of energy conservation, population management, and the current and future scale of urban density. In sum, the show offers a small but importantly informative window on wider-flung and alternative modes of modern living, which unavoidably involves negotiating the heroic and destructive potentials of invention. Also showing: Michael Eastman's interior photographs of the Charleston, South Carolina, historic landmark the Aiken-Rhett House — in their near-tactile depiction of weathered and abandoned domestic opulence — provide a striking complement (or antidote) to Aber's assembled virtual-realities of the moment.
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