(Maastricht / Avenue Céramique 40)
According to German photographer and video artist Michael Najjar (1966), the industrial revolution radically changed the appearance of the world’s metropolises, yet the impact of digitalization isn’t any less significant. Computers and computer networks largely define the development of the urban landscape. Cities no longer exist only in physical sense; now they also have a digital version. The city itself has become a fusion of physical and digital space.
Najjar depicts this new, partly invisible landscape in his video piece Netropolis. He has taken panoramic pictures from different angles in cities such as Berlin, Paris and Tokyo and placed these on top of each other. The result is a landscape of lines, which can be viewed as a carpet of digital connections. The contours of the photographed cities remain visible underneath. Najjar’s pictures are similar to images we all know. World metropolises that each have unique, recognizable skylines; but that also prove to be interchangeable. By ‘stacking’ and digitally mixing these images, the artist creates an entirely new virtual city. Najjar shows images that go beyond the human scale of construction, perception and comprehension.