About this project
UPDATE: Goal reached! But I'll be adding something else to your package for every additional $500 raised. Here is the summary of the added prizes so far (Click the "Updates" tab for more details!):
- Your original prize based on your pledge
- A hand-made bookmark
- An extra book
- A collaborative postcard
- Custom cities-of-you-themed stamps
- Video documentation and video Q&A (please send me your questions!)
- An upgrade from softcover to hardcover
- Hand-painted interior cover
- A quarterly gift for one year
- Book upgrade from 80lb to 100lb paper
- Invitation to event to view artwork
- Access to hidden cities
- One massive, collaborative city
- High-res download of a city
- Lifetime annual gifts
Cities of You is a project that imagines people as places. Inspired by Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, I travel through each city and, with words and images, describe their special properties- how the buildings are built, how the people live, its history, culture, and reputation. As the project progresses, I revisit some cities, describing how they evolve over time or enter unexplored parts of the cities. The intended result is to be able to imagine relationships as dynamic spaces in which one can visit, walk through, and explore.
I am raising money to self-publish the first book in this series. It will contain the first 41 cities and their descriptions, printed in full color in an 8.5 x 8.5", hardcover book. I will sign and doodle in every book ordered in this campaign.
All the money will go directly to printing the books, producing the rewards, and buying materials for future cities. For sake of transparency, I'll be listing my costs in the FAQs on the bottom of this page. Please feel free to ask more questions!
Here are a couple samples of the cities and their descriptions. You can visit http://citiesofyou.com for the entire gallery.
City #2: Gnazai
Gnazai is a city for those who want to stay close to home, but never be in one place for too long. Every morning, the citizens of Gnazai wake up to a different landscape. That is because Gnazai is constantly moving- 2.5 kilometers per day to be exact. Gnazai attracts people of all backgrounds- landscape painters, cartographers, vagabonds, and engineers who marvel at Gnazais unrivaled technology. The massive engine in the heart of the city powers its colossal legs. All the waste that the citizens produce go directly into the engine that keeps it alive. So if the engine is the heart of the city, they are collectively the blood that fuels it.
System #2: Vinnsa
The Vinnsa Transit Authority (VTA) is a global public transportation system serving thousands of cities worldwide. It is made up of an uncluttered network of shallow green pools of water. Those who use this system do not choose a destination, but simply fall into the emerald pools. Most of the time, you just float on the surface and go nowhere. However, sometimes the VTA brings you to another city, perhaps close by, or conceivably on the other side of the globe. Those who claim to understand the VTA say it brings you to where you should be- even if it is where you currently are. Some say it takes you where you want to be. Some say its completely random. There have been reports where people have completely disappeared. Some have said, even though they werent transported anywhere, they could have sworn the city felt differently.
City #19: Haestique
The odds of all the citizens of Haestique closing their eyes at the same time are very slim. However, on the rare occasion it does happen, the landscape of Haestique changes the moment before their eyes re-open. Citizens say, right before then, there is a moment of weightlessness immediately followed by a rush of blood to their head. Like waking up after a shared dream, the citizens slowly collect the facts of their new reality. Because all eyes are closed, nobody really knows what exactly occurs during the event. However, there was one instance where a distant passerby claimed to see a cloud of blue dust envelop the city. Though, when he went to rub his eyes, he found himself somewhere else entirely.
Landmark #5: Chymellu
Chymellu Lake is peculiar body of water that has four surfaces. The topmost surface is just like any other, but swim a little further down and you will break the second surface. Immediately as you break this surface you fall into the third surface since there is no water between the second and third. Hold your breath again and swim to the fourth surface. As you break this surface, something splendid happens. You breathe as though there is no water, but you continue to swim as if there were- two actions that are familiar when separate, but fantastic when combined.
You can see more here: http://citiesofyou.com
A bit about myself...
I'm a freelance web developer in my mid-twenties located in NYC, but I'm looking to somehow focus more on art. Beyond practicing art, I'd also like to make art more accessible to emerging artists and art-enthusiasts alike through tools like Kickstarter and beyond. I also believe art can be incorporated into every-day-life and has the unique power to make someone's day if used the right way.
Even if you can't contribute, shoot me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or if there's a potential for collaboration.
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