Giacomo Costa

At MoMA's bookstore yesterday I came across Giacomo Costa: The Chronicles of Time, an image-drenched book on the Florentine photographer, with a foreward by Norman Foster. His fusion of photography and digital techniques is clearly fantastical, like a not-too-distant Hollywood future. What stood out most in the book and on his web page were cityscapes punctured by linear amorphous megastructures.

[ATTO N.3, 2006 | image source]

[ATTO N.4, 2006 | image source]

[ATTO N.10, 2007 | image source]

[PERSISTENZA N.2, 2008 | image source]

The above seems to be various stages in time of such a megastructure and its surrounding fabric, apparently free of any habitation and upkeep. They are reminiscent of the images used to describe Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. Both the city and the alien structure are visible in various stages of deterioration, with buried infrastructure coming to the fore in ATTO N.10 and vegetation more prominent than buildings in PERSISTENZA N.2.

Costa lets the images speak for themselves on his web page, so the following description is taken from the publisher:
Employing sophisticated digital techniques borrowed from the world of cinema the artist reinterprets the collective imagination of the metropolis, creating unreal cityscapes, spaces with vast perspectives that include spectacular ruins and architectures. Suspended between tradition and modernity, real and dreamlike, the “views” in The Chronicles of Time recall the sci-fi genre (are they perhaps the result of natural catastrophes? nuclear wars?) and at the same time, so rich in meticulous details, they seem to be the fruit of a contemporary reinterpretation of the most classic topos, that of the ideal city.


  1. wow. The structure itself is wild enough but then to see the decaying. Also reminds me of the book by Cormick McCarthy; The Road.
    I have been enjoying your website.
    Great variety!

  2. Terrifying - I'm not sure what's worse, the destructed cities or the alien invading buildings!

  3. Fantastic pieces of work. I also like the reference to The Road - a fantastic book.

    Lucas Gray


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