Integrated in Vigilism’s series of speculative architectural installations or “follies”, Cardboard Cityscapes is a digitally rendered image that questions and examines the urban planning of large cities, its societal consequences and architectural traditions, proposing a dystopian cityscape.
According to the artist, the cityscapes – depicting large urban metropolises with abstract city plans – “suggest the changing contours of urban settlements and an idea of a degenerate futurism.” Vigilism notes how the typologies he echoes in his work can be found in other cities, such as Mexico City, Mumbai or Lagos. “Lagos, for example, is one of fastest growing cities in Africa,” the artist states. “Home to almost 8 million inhabitants and a population density in the metropolitan areas of over 20,000 people per square mile, it is a crowded and chaotic knot of human resilience, commercial enterprise and highly complex social infrastructures.” For Vigilism, these megacities are places of great optimism and social inventiveness, as well as extreme poverty, over-crowding, failing infrastructure and congested traffic. “The depiction of this labyrinthine future metropolis,” he says, “rendered in found and discarded bits of cardboard and other paper detritus, speaks to these conditions while reflecting on the resourcefulness, ingenuity, and sustainability-by-necessity of these highly-organized yet improvised settlements that define the fabric of such burgeoning megacities.”