The City as an Emergent Life Form

“Organism, 1975” by director Hilary Harris is an imaginative short film that was ahead of it’s time. How we live in a moment in history where the composition of cities is changing rapidly, this artistic commentary that juxtaposes images of our cells with those of busy streets and bustling to remind us our humanities interconnectedness with the places we inhabit.

Using time-lapse footage of New York City, the filmmaker Hilary Harris imagines the metropolis as a living organism. Traffic arteries are seen as the bloodstream circulating through the urban body; skyscrapers are the skeletal structure. Shops, railroads, bridges, beaches, and parades are juxtaposed with cellular activity shown under the microscope, illustrating the greater choreography of city life in all its fascinating complexity.

Share with a friend