Pierre-Jean GILOUX

Metabolism _ Invisible Cities
Pierre-Jean Giloux’s first monograph, the publication extends the eponymous video tetralogy inspired by the Japanese utopian architectural movement: Metabolism (1960-70).
The films of the Invisible Cities cycle are portraits of Japanese cities, superimposing filmed and photographed images of everyday, social and urban reality, with virtual images.
The book explores the links in Pierre Jean Giloux’s work that connect four Japanese cities with a rich architectural past (Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto). This jorney through Japan’s Megapolis traces the history of Japan and ends with the reconstruction of pavilions for the Osaka 70 Universal Exhibition and a virtual proposal for a smart city on the waters of Lake Biwa.
The metabolist utopia to which reference is constantly made in the work of Pierre Jean Giloux played a decisive role in the constitution of post-war Japanese cultural identity and had a notable influence on many contemporary architects.

Verena Friedrich

Vanitas Machine

The installation VANITAS MACHINE addresses the desire for eternal life and the potential of life-prolonging measures. Based on a candle which – by means of technical intervention – burns down very slowly, vanitas machine creates a contemporary analogy to the endeavour of prolonging the human lifespan with the help of science and technology.Being one of the classical vanitas symbols, a burning candle recalls the futility of the moment, the transience of human life and the certainty of the end of all existence. But is this end really still inevitable?In the course of the last two centuries, average human life expectancy has increased significantly in the industrialised countries. Moreover, in the context of scientific research the biological causes of ageing are being explored. Numerous theories of aging have already been developed pointing both towards physiological as well as environmental factors.One of the first theories of ageing was the so-called »metabolism theory«, which claims that the lifespan of organisms is reciprocally related to energy turnover and therefore connected to calorie intake, oxygen consumption and heart rate: The higher the metabolic rate, the shorter the lifespan of the organism.