Project: The "What If" Metropolis - Travelogue

It has been a while since you last saw any form of life along the dusty, barren pathway. The road ahead is a long one, and the rocky terrain at the foot of the towering mountains is a treacherous path to travel. Any traveller is advised to remain cautious of the cavernous depths of the mountains’ pathway. Trekking onwards, the path becomes thinner; more narrow, as you progress. But wait. You spy an opening. Perhaps a way out. The light draws nearer as you push forward, tip toeing between the tight spaces of the rocks and rubble scattering the path. It gradually becomes closer. You finally make it out. And there it is. Amplexus.

Stumbling through the gap, you venture on to this strange environment. As you gaze upwards, you are only just able to decipher the peak of the monuments buildings aligned along the road into the city. Each building varies in height and shape. The abstract forms of the mass amount of structures leaves one puzzled, as it is difficult to determine where the entrance and exits are placed. The buildings have many features to them, be they incredibly large, or moderately sized, with chiselled edges and cubic towers, or curvaceous domes as smooth as porcelain, no two buildings are the same. Upon first impressions, one would assume that Amplexus has a thriving trading service as there is a vast amount of materials incorporated into the city’s structures. From rubber and leather, to glass, ceramics, chrome and metals like steel and copper, it diverts any visitors’ eye to roam across the intricate patterns of each surface. 

If you were to delve deeper into the cities heart, you will find an obscure building. This building has many poles and beams supporting the curves of each wall. In the centre of this building, a tower of immense height rises up towards the cloudless sky, looking down on the city itself. This tower is of great importance, for it is the main power source, the “heart”, of the entire city. It is uncertain to outsiders as to what this form of energy could be, but if you were to get close enough to the tower, even behind the wired fencing, you would be able to feel a heated breeze, as radiation emits from the base of the tower.

Navigating through Amplexus is quite the task if you don’t live there. The twisting and turning of the pavement as you round the corner of a building is known to leave one feeling lost. It is advised that you use local transportation as a method of getting around the area. A vehicle, resembling that of a tram, pulls up next to the pavement, but there is no specific stop sign to signal it to come to a halt. But this mode of transport is different to any other tram that you may recognise. This, “cart”, is made of steel, with a glossy silver exterior that glistens in the daylight. The large glass window at the drivers end of the cart, at a glance, appears to make the vehicle look like a large metal beast with a gaping maw. As the doors slide open, you expect to see a driver. Or so you thought. But rather, instead of a driver, there is a speaker. Nothing more, nothing less. As the speaker buzzes to life, you just about make out the muffled response of, “where are you travelling to?”. Trembling ever so slightly at the lack of human interaction, you state where you wish to head, only to then be directed to take a seat. The interior of the cart is simple. With a ceramic ceiling design, large windows that almost replace the walls, wooden flooring, and leather-bound seats that run along the edges of the cart, creating an aisle down the middle. The cart then whizzes off, running on nothing else but a singular rail running down the middle of each road you come across. Although intimidating, it is for the best to be chauffeured by this strange contraption. Besides, the carts seem to have a better sense of direction than any life form living here.

As the evenings draw in, pathways are lit by large bulbs trapped in circular cages, held up by stilt like posts, casting beams of light onto the stone slabs that is the pathway, and onto the solemn faces of the city folk that reside in the abstract apartments and houses. It leaves the mind wandering through each crevice carved out of the buildings. It’s like peering through a telescope into an other worldly dimension, as if somewhat alien. Perhaps a little outlandish, as some would describe the area. The colour green glows and illuminates the cityscape as the moonlight hits the tinted buildings and structures, and yet, one can neither feel at home, nor does he wish to leave just yet.

Walking through the streets and alleyways, it bewilders you as to how you are capable of seeing the stars so clearly at night, especially with the amount of light pollution the lamps are creating. People have been suspicious about the city’s behaviour, including the placement and how each occupant is blissfully unaware of how peculiar their settlement is to an outsider. As if they were brainwashed. 

It’s strange, Amplexus has been known to fabricate buildings of unimaginable structures. It is forever remodelling and improving itself. The reason it is a city is due to the fact that it is forever expanding, and consistently creating new buildings. There is a beginning to the city, but no end. Analysing your recordings of your time in Amplexus, each set of buildings appear in one manner, and then as you progress down the streets, you notice that each design of the buildings gradually evolve into another form of architecture, giving themselves a new appearance, even to the extent of incoherency. The ever changing mindset of Amplexus is fascinating, and as visitors come and go, they would simply ask the residents, “Is the city unfinished? Is it still under construction?”, to which they shall reply, “We are simply improving. We are moving forward.”.That is Amplexus’ mentality. To enlarge, to increase, to improve.


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