Frontiers of Utopia is the final part of a trilogy exploring the history and nature of idealism, technology, and design. By touching icons and objects in the virtual space, viewers become time travelers and move interactively through four time-zone layers representing the Frontiers of Utopia of the 20th century.
During their explorations, viewers interact with eight different women and learn more about their private lives by asking them questions and examining personal objects in their suitcases. In the center of the space, viewers can attend a virtual dinner party and choose women from different eras to converse with each other and make comparisons. The life experiences and social, racial, and historical backgrounds of the women offer viewers a rich tapestry of ideas, attitudes, locations, and historical perspectives.
The first two projects of this trilogy, Machinedreams (1991) and Paradise Tossed (1993), explored in a stylized and dreamy manner the relationship between desire and production of our domestic environment. In both works, viewers were encouraged to construct a montage of sounds and animated images from 1900, 1930, 1960, and 1990. As they explored various spaces, viewers' movements triggered sounds, or they used icons on a touch-sensitive screen to trigger animation sequences. In this way, they became time travelers who encountered interesting associations and learned about history.
Frontiers of Utopia examines our notions of the ideal society (utopia) by comparing different historical concepts and political attitudes. It also addresses women's relationships and their attitudes toward media and technology.
Monitor Info System/ZKM
D-76049 Karlsruhe, Germany
Direction and Concept
The Australian Film Commission
Monitor Information Systems
Jens Muller and Monitor Information Systems
To Index First Contact Heroes