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Through Leviathan's Eyes

Nathan Su

What if you could see the world through everyone's eyes?

Everyone sees reality differently. Our eyes are lenses, filters through which our experiences and beliefs shape the world around us. "Through Leviathan's Eyes" is an intricate vision of what those individual views could look like were they brought together into an ever-evolving ensemble. The film plays with a speculative future, a space of augmented reality that builds a new sense of "citiness" through collective inception. Created as a degree project at the Architectural Association, the film was directed by Nathan Su in collaboration with Bethany Edgoose.

"We live in a time where cultural ideologies, aspirations and fears are as diverse and dynamic as ever," Su writes. "And yet, our world views are becoming increasingly singular, extreme, and sadly—polarized. Our media echo-chambers feed us personalized, self-affirming realities that keep us well within the boundaries of our own predispositions and assumptions. But what if the technologies that currently blind us, could somehow bind us together?"

While Leviathan initially calls to mind a wild and ungovernable beast, Su takes a different approach to the concept, drawing inspiration from Hobbes's concept of Leviathan. The film delves deep into the Leviathan as a collective of man, a government made from the image of mankind into an absolute authority. Visions ripple across the city like the contractions of an unfathomable creature's muscle, guided and changed by a collective consciousness. Augmented reality takes the sum of the parts and makes them a greater whole—experiences, dreams, fears, and memories laid bare beneath the eyes of the city. The stories of various characters are explored through an organic, non-narrative flow. They blur together as their identities intersect like fractals across the city.

The project evolved through various media, like the city it depicts. It started as a magazine, a fictional piece of journalism that explored the city and its functions. Over time, the authors' vision developed into a film essay. The final iteration of the project is a beautiful visual symphony of the combined notes of disparate worldviews.


Architect: Nathan Su
Mentioned project: Through Leviathan's Eyes (2017)
Directed and written by: Nathan Su, Bethany Edgoose
Cast: Helen Robinett Oxley, Annabel Spinks-Jones, Charlie Sturgeon, Chong Yan Chuah, David London, Stefania Montesolaro
Cast & 3D Modelling: Chong Yan Chuah
Tutor: Liam Young, Kate Davies, Natasha Sandmeier, Manolis Stavrakakis

United Kingdom 2017
Duration: 9'15''