Distance Past

Livia Xie

Of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Eutropia is not one, but a collective of identical cities scattered across a great plateau. Only one city is ever occupied at a time, the rest empty and waiting to be inhabited as the people move from one to the next in an endless cycle. In this constant transition, the city and its inhabitants repeat their lives in different, yet identical permutations. Eutropia is the tale of perpetual motion through the migratory nature of the human condition. Migration implies distance traversed in repeating patterns—in motion, yet unchanging.

Distance Past explores the concept of migration and transience in the everyday. Told through three stages of movement––departure, stasis, return––this thesis visualizes an ever-shifting landscape of change for the individual, in the physical and the abstract. Through a morphing floor projection, a book of objects and stories, and a series of memory paintings, Distance Past constructs a narrative around patterns of movement and memory in a world driven by people constantly on the move.