Realtime Subjects

Farzin Lotfi-Jam
Farzin Lotfi-Jam
Realtime Subjects

29 March 2023, 2–5 PM
The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, UL, Video, Animation and New Media, Tobačna 5, Ljubljana

What to bring? A laptop with:
– The latest build of Unreal Engine 5
– The latest build of Cesium for Unreal Engine

Part of Tactics & Practice #14: Scale
In the framework of konSequences realised by konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art

Where do virtual humans reside? The workshop will explore this question by looking at recent urban simulations that virtualise cities and their populations. Specifically, we will use a recent smart city technology, the “digital twin”, as a topic of inquiry and design method. The digital twin, a virtual replica that maps data from objects in the physical city onto digital proxies in a simulated city, is the latest product being marketed to cities by global logistics companies and smart city technology firms. Digital twins are immersive, omniscient fantasy images, populated with real-time feeds of human activity, weather, traffic and other urban events. What is at issue in this technology is the reliance on a computational model to make the city legible to decision makers, who then use this model to create urban futures.

This workshop examines how digital twins represent cities and their subjects. It asks what the consequences of this technology are for collective urban futures and how this technology can be mobilised to produce more equitable, just and exciting urban visions. Specifically, workshop participants will technically and conceptually hack the components (data inputs, immersive visualisations and simulations, and outputs) of the digital twin concept and system architecture. Participants will produce a simple simulation of an urban environment using the Unreal Gaming Engine.


Farzin Lotfi-Jam is an architect whose work explores the politics of technology and cities. He is an assistant professor of architecture at Cornell University where he directs the Realtime Urbanism lab. The lab uses and invents new spatial media and technologies to visualise and simulate how algorithms, models and notions of “real time” govern urban life.  He is also the director of Farzin Farzin, an interdisciplinary design studio working across architecture, urbanism, computation and media. From modelling the control matrices of smart cities to spatialising the cultural logics of social media, his individual and collaborative projects are research-based and multimediatic. Lotfi-Jam’s work has been collected by The Centre Pompidou and the Sharjah Art Foundation, and he is the recipient of the 2022 Architectural League of New York League Prize, as well as recent grants and support for his research from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, M+/Design Trust and The Shed, where he was an inaugural Open Call Artist. He has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, MAXXI, the Venice Architecture Biennial, the Oslo Architecture Triennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Seoul Architecture Biennial, the Sharjah Architecture Triennial and elsewhere. His co-authored book Modern Management Methods: Architecture, Historical Value, and the Electromagnetic Image was published by Columbia University Press.


Farzin Lotfi-Jam
Scales of Realtime
28 March 2023 at 6 PM
Cukrarna, Poljanski nasip 40, Ljubljana


Farzin Lotfi-Jam
My Domestic Routines
29 March–14 April 2023
Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana


Author: Farzin Lotfi-Jam

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2023

The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana

Part of the series:
Tactics & Practice

In the framework of konSequences realised by
konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art

The project konS:: Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art was chosen on the public call for the selection of the operations “Network of Investigative Art and Culture Centres”. The investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.

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