1991,Five into One

1991, Five into one

Matt Mullican’s Five into One consists of the creation of artificial cities which are pure landscapes of signs and stylized forms in bright colours. All Mullican’s work is founded on a codified universe and on different efforts to project himself into the space of the work. There is thus an obvious affinity between his imaginary world and the techniques of synthesis. For Mullican, the current technical limitations of the system — for example, the loss of a certain amount of detail — are not a problem but a constraint that is there to be exploited. He has created five imaginary worlds in which the only inhabitant is the user. These five sets of symbolic information each have their own specific colour: red for the subjective, yellow for museums, for example. And these worlds may be travelled through in any direction and at any speed. "It is not a map of the city, it is a city as a map." Even if the artist does offer a few landmarks, the experience is disorienting. What interested Mullican, according to his own account, was to create space out of nothing. And indeed, entering this particular image-space is like entering memory or entering into the fabric of an idea.

In the interactive virtual environment entitled Five into One, the visualization is calculated in real time. The symbolic levels of interpretation of the universes created by Matt Mullican, each of which identified by a colour, make up a cosmology. But it only a model, a trompe-loeil, an interface between the artist and his ideas. The second world is a without structure, all in blue. It contains various different elements all referring to daily reality. Here for example, there is an orderly succession of houses, one of which may be visited.