Panning through surreal street scenes of Belgrade, Serbia at night, the experimental video game Exquisite City pays homage to architectural movements and trends throughout time. Inspired by the exquisite corpse, the surrealist parlor game played by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, it weaves through public squares of historical greatness as well as unpopulated graffitied street corners with the same untethered collaborative energy—except instead of drawings, they're 3D architectural renderings. On display are models crafted by artist James George, photographers Alexander Porter and Claudio Leggieri, and graphic designer Vladimir Mitrović from a technical workshop held at the Resonate Festival in Belgrade by Specular, a creative agency exploring the applications of photography and interactivity.
During the three-day workshop, students walked through the city to capture building-scale 3D scans of architectural facades and details. Using photogrammetry, they scanned architecture components to create 3D models. Then, participants combined their model blocks to rebuild Belgrade into the architectural exquisite corpse seen here.
The project was inspired by Guy Debord's 1950s concept of psychogeography and the practice of dérive, the act of "observing the invisible layers that exist between the public and the built environment we inhabit," according to Specular. We, too, can experience dérive as video game players. Use the arrow keys to steer through city streets, and by press “enter” to go from walking to flying—to also flying at warp speed. At once dreamlike and concrete, Exquisite City is an attempt to represent the ephemeral qualities of an urban landscape. Click here for a link to download Exquisite City for yourself (for Mac or PC), and visit Specular's website for more.