British Council Creative Economy

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26 April 2017

AltCity CDMX: making the chameleon

In Autumn of 2016 British Council brought together Marshmallow Laser Feast, Bath University and Mexico’s premiere music festival MUTEK.MX to explore the city in an art and technology lab for emerging Mexican artists

AltCity CDMX was an exploration of the people of Mexico City in 360-degrees, examining the relationship between sight and touch in virtual reality to expose the diversity and social makeup of one of the world's most populous cities. 

Bringing together some of the UK's finest creative technology practitioners and researchers with some of Mexico City's brightest young artists, they worked together to learn and apply new skills in digital creativity and captured the city, its people and their stories in 360º. 

From this process they created Chameleon, a sensory portrait of Mexico City presented by MUTEK.MX at their 2016 festival.  Chameleon is a mixed reality virtual reality (VR) installation, an exploration through portraiture of the way inhabitants of one of the most populous cities in the world adapt and adjust to their environment using different coping mechanisms.

Photo by Hanna Quevedo

Within a virtual gallery audiences see four individuals who use art, history, knowledge, nature, work and play to weave their identities. Chameleon presents these identities as a multidimensional reality that spectators access through VR headsets, spatialised audio, 3D printing and video.

Photo by Hanna Quevedo

Since its presentation in Mexico City at Mutek.MX in October, it has toured to Mutek Montreal, and IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam).