Centro Verso 2521
Centro Verso 2521 explores a future dimension of the city of Melbourne where the Hoddle grid provides the structure for an otherwise unrecognisable and dense dystopian cityscape. The work takes the viewer through a disorienting exploration of the city from a variety of inhuman viewpoints from above and below.
The buildings of this unfamiliar landscape have been constructed using procedural methods. Different pre-designed blocks are stacked together using mathematical parameters to create the heights and aesthetics of the buildings. This mimics the chaos, density and randomness that the built environment can often take over years of creation and re-creation. The camera frequently flips direction to disorient the viewer’s perception of whether they are looking up or down and plays with the idea that perhaps one day we will not be bound by the constraints of gravity or engineering limitations.
Billboards throughout the city display a random mix of imagery and unknown characters, showing that even deep into the future we are unlikely to escape the constant buzz of advertising. The colour palette pays homage to the cyberpunk and neon-noir genres which Blachford has referenced frequently throughout his photographic series.
Branching out from his normal still photographic work Blachford has collaborated with staff and students of RMIT’s Animation program to create this new and uncertain glimpse into the future.
Collaborating artists: Andrew Zygmunt, Wentian Xhu, Chengfeng Peng, John Lycette, Alistair MacInnes
Tom Blachford is a Melbourne based artist working across visual mediums to explore the history and future of cities, structures and the built environment. His practise has traditionally involved the exploration and capture of conventional and existing structures around the world, almost always at night. His use of long exposure photography has allowed him a glimpse into other worlds that sit before us but just beyond the limits of human perception. Always working with existing light sources such as the full moon (Midnight Modern) or the neon lights of Tokyo (Nihon Noir) he works to distil cinematic moments from architectural marvels as well as mundane street views.
For Gertrude 2021 is Blachford’s debut into moving image and world creation. This new medium allows him to further explore the ideas and aesthetics created in his Centro Verso series (Backwoods Gallery, 2019) which originally combined sculpture, optical illusion and inverted photographs of the Melbourne Skyline.