architecture of life

WBJune Day Twenty-Six

Art

In a city as advanced as Veda City, you might assume that art takes a backseat to science, but, in reality, art exists alongside science in almost equal parts, just in different ways and different places. Architectural art is a massive part of Veda City - evident in the twisting skyscrapers and beautiful structures that reflect light down into the streets (which is handy for the solar roadways) - and street art, museums, music, dancing, photography, metal-working, and other forms of art are also fairly evident throughout the city.

Street Art

In a city as pristine as Veda, you wouldn’t think of street are as being one of the main forms of art found in the city. You’d be… sort of correct. Street art is mostly found in three locations: Danko, Red Light, and the Eden Centre, and the art found in all three is very, very different. In Danko, the art strays toward gang symbols, warnings, and meeting times. SOLDIER has yet to be able to decode what any of it means, but it’s clear that it’s the Reapers’ work, if only for the symbol of the grim owl mask they use to mark their territory. Territory symbols are huge in Danko, and the Reapers’ symbol is everywhere. In Red Light, graffiti strays more toward proper graffiti, various symbols made by the Syndicate and the Scavengers (especially as their territory wars get more and more out of hand), and dozens of statements about anti-meta and anti-human protests, as well as slogans. Vandalism is high in this area.

The Eden Centre has street art as well, but with a much less violent tone to it. The art in the Eden Centre is commissioned murals in the alleyways between buildings. Beautiful imagery of the skyline of Veda City, of past Gauntlet battles, and of the schools that surround the Eden Centre, as well as their mottos and symbols.

Architecture

Architecture, as mentioned, is a great point of artistic pride in the city. Some of this came up on Day Five: Civilization and Architecture. The skyscrapers with their twists, the sky bridge between the two halves of the Straton Research Facility, the stylized, modern designs for each of the major companies, the shining billboards with their projection lights, and much more, all come together to turn the city into a work of art unto itself. Of course, modern architecture isn’t the only form of architectural art in Veda City, as Veda City is built upon an abandoned city (sometimes called a graveyard by the more… grim members of society). The old blends with the new in several parts of the city, including the Eden Centre, and in the Suburbs. The old architecture has been restored to its former glory, and the swinging signs and gleaming brick make for their own sort of art.

Add in the manicured plants, the climbing vines, the various gardens, and Veda City is certainly a spectacle to behold.

Art, Galleries, and Museum Pieces

Of course, when you say ‘art’ most people think of the visual medium - paintings, sketches, etc. Veda has plenty of that (and an art college or two) alongside its other forms of art. Art galleries, art museums, and other museums litter Veda City, and there’s a booming market for young artists in East Residence. Lots of struggling artists painting the mountains as a backdrop to other pieces and trying to get into galleries. The galleries themselves are quite varied, with some having specific themes (cultural and subject) and some being for specific people, and some being general and for everyone. The museums contain some very upscale pieces, as well as some pieces acquired through… less than legal means (not that anyone can prove it, mind you. What’s a little grave robbing for art?)

Some of those artists young artists include Chase Steele and Al Hunter. Chase focuses on photography, using perspective to change the way people look at the mundane and the extraordinary. Al works in charcoal and is usually smudged with at least a few streaks of it.

Clubs, Dancing, and Music

One of the biggest art industries in the city is the club industry. The music and dancing is considered to be an art form by many who attend, and the incredibly complex music spinning and dance routines can take months or even years to practice and master - and mastery is something that many never achieve. Couple in the light shows, the ways in which a DJ must command a crowd between the songs, and you have a unique art industry that few outside know about.

The most notable of these DJs is one Thaddeus T. Fabulon, better known in the clubs as DJ Fabulon, and even better known in the Underground as the Pied Piper. The combination of his metahuman ability and musical genius is completely unparalleled, and The Pink Slip has quickly become one of the 'it’ places in Red Light. Of course, whether or not Thad is controlling the club goers or whether he’s actually that good of a DJ is a massive, messy, and unsolved debate throughout the northern edge of the city (though regardless of whether or not you believe the stories of Thad controlling the club goers, you would be wise to cover your ears and flee for the hills if you hear him utter the phrase 'follow me’).

Metalworking and Big Art Projects

Metalworking, woodworking, and bigger art projects are also in Veda City, though albeit in much smaller quantities. Metalworking, in particular, has a place in Veda City, due to its massive metal industry and the amount of workshops found in the city for such projects. Topiary is another, surprisingly large, industry in Veda City, though that’s largely due to the amount of gardens, trees, and shrubbery found in the city. In fact, most of the metal work and topiary you see in the city is done by curious students with too much time on their hands.

Metahuman Abilities in Art

Of course, with anything in Veda City, meta abilities (sometimes called metabilities) have to tie in somewhere. A lot of artists use their powers to get better with their art, though whether this is a crutch or an advantage is a matter of debate. Metas can get better angles, find specific issues, work with too hot or too cold materials, or take burns or mistakes better than others. Some powers allow the wielder to create things few others can.

Zoë Lehrer is one of the most notorious for doing this, though she can - and often will - claim that her inventions are not art, which, again, is a matter of debate in parts of the city (particularly the metal working and scientifically minded parts). With her power, Lehrer is able to combine, break down, and recombine a thousand different objects for a thousand different purposes, each one unique from the previous. Though, she will claim most of these are functional.

Even if she, herself, doesn’t know what everything she builds can do.

The Trevi Fountain receives around 3,000 euros every day. At night, the money is collected to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

I’m firmly convinced that fetishism for weird architecture is only a “rich people” thing because of the expense. If cost were no issue, I suspect that most people reading this post would jump at the opportunity live in something totally bizarre. A house shaped like a hat? A tree growing in your bathroom? A glass-floored kitchen suspended over a hundred-foot drop? I’d bet real money there’s something utterly and extravagantly deranged you’d incorporate into your living space in a heartbeat if you had the means.