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Archigram Instant City

Photo Essay

Aaron McAnally

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Archigram Instant City

It's no secret that people in rural areas, even now, find it difficult to feel connected to the distant world of city life. In the photo above, the clashing colors, contrasting spatial organization, and expressive content all work together to show that Archigram's "Instant City" will bring needed excitement to boring, disconnected areas.
It is interesting to note here how the color of the instant city in the background clashes with the lack of color on the vehicle and road. Not only does this show that the instant city can be integrated into everyday life and allow life to continue as usual, but it also makes the point that the current lifestyle can be boring and could use the added excitement brought on by the Instant City.
This section of the picture, although seemingly bare, contains a great deal of symbolism. As in many cities, when there is an important event occurring, there may be spotlights seen in the sky. This brings a whole new level of excitement to the lives of the people in rural areas with the establishment of the Instant City. It's also interesting to notice the shady pair of eyes watching over the city. Most people never hear much about rural areas and often times never know that they exist. The eyes on the jumbo-tron represent the acknowledgment of the small town by the bigger cities, and work to prove that the town can now make their influence on the world and be heard by others.
This section represents the old world before the introduction of the Instant City to the area. The majority of this quadrant is simply boring, and generally dark, old, and grainy. But on the contrary, the woman is smiling, obviously happy, and has bright, yellow hair. The contrast of color stands out the most at this point, and suggests that the Instant City is bringing excitement that the bleak, empty community didn't have before. But why is the man whispering in the woman's ear? Gossip often goes hand in hand with an added social aspect to life. This exciting action mixed with the black and white, low saturation of the picture suggests that the pleasures of city life provided by the Instant City has mixed in with the old rural town to create a better life for the people of the area.
It's important to note how cluttered this quadrant of the photo is. There are struts, wires, balloons, tents, lights, and even what appear to be jumbo-trons scattered throughout this block that makes up the innards of the Instant City. Also notice the extraordinary amount of color found here. The idea is that this area is full of life and brings much more excitement to the area than ever before. The one clash can be found where the black and white overpass goes through the Instant City. This is meant to show that, even with such a cluttered environment, the Instant City can be integrated easily into established societies.
In this picture, all lines lead to one point in the distance through the bridge of the overpass. This appears to be simply a grey and fuzzy portrayal of the old way of life. However, note how the road connects the background to the foreground. This shows that although the old and simple town seems like a distant memory, the Instant City and the old town are connected, showing how the Instant City introduces city life to the town rather than just replacing the town altogether.
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