HotelCity is an exercise in psychogeographic cinema. Originally called 46°31’26.4’’ N 6° 38’9.6’’ E (the GPS coordinates for Switzerland), the film mixes elements of genre narrative, film-noir, and spy films to tell the story of a secret society and their machinations in and around the city of Lausanne. The film is shot as a series of vignettes that can be watched independently or in one of several orders: chronologically or thematically.
Due to the large number of characters the film can be watched by following the action of one character throughout the story or by remaining in one location and watching the various stories which take place in that location. The film is like the city itself: many stories overlapping each other, occasionally crossing, influencing each other even when the influence is invisible or seems incidental.
CinemaMutation is the “operating system” that controls the interactive room containing HotelCity. The software was developed to support any type of map-based storytelling, and supports interactive and generative modes. The project was first shown at the La Manufacture 10th anniversary celebration.
This project represented the first time we attempted to create a system for collecting, mapping, and presenting a large quantity of media. When installed, the software controls physical aspects of the room as well as the projection of video and the audio in the space, combining theatrical, cinematic, and computational vocabularies. The software was custom written in Objective-C for OSX.