Ghost City by Jody Zellen


I have just discovered Ghost City by Jody Zellen and I think it's digital art. It's found on the web and it comes from the primordial 0,1 universe but some similar such things don't often come off with this much style. It's designy I must admit, but that's a mark in it's favor. It seems to have no purpose.....so chalk another.

Ghost City is a collage. "Everything disappears and reappears", the ghost city says, only the layer is different. I guess it's schizophrenic...and it's a portrait of city life. The ghost town is the one we live in every day packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes. It's a screenshot of all of the week's images and conversations clipped and sliced into a cool web space that rolls over and plays dead. The images seem to be taken from historical, found photos. I would guess that they are manipulated and cropped too. Some of the text seems to be taken from academic kinds of work with words like "anthropomorphized."
You find soon after landing that the site is cavernous. Sections of word an image loop back to sections that you have visited before but some dead end after knocking and digging. My favorite stand alone image is on the "Metrolpolis Captured" page. I would tell you how to get there but I am not sure I know....The page loads with a central black and white image in a red field and then tiles itself over the screen. At which time some silly looking flat green figurative images populate the page. It goes on from there to generate silliness in motion. In it's flippant and at the same time rigorous design, Ghost City is always in transition.
In the midst of "grids" and "chaos" there are pages of quiet solitude and stoic simplicity and then there are sections that launch multiple windows of frenetic imagery, skittering across the screen and multiplying. The site makes me want to pull out my old shoe box full of magazine clippings and glue and with dull scissors piece together a constellation of figures and type. But I am not sure which bed that set of instant gratification is hidden under....I am sure it is long since lost. Yet, it may reappear, the Ghost City says.


Image from ghostcity.com by Jody Zellen


© 2000 Ellen Mar
Ellen Mar is a Fine Art student at the University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.