The Experimental City is a documentary about the Minnesota Experimental City project, a futuristic attempt to solve urban problems by creating a full-size city from scratch in the isolated woods of northern Minnesota. At the heart of the story is renowned scientist, inventor, and comic-strip author, Athelstan Spilhaus, who dreams of a new kind of planned city—a truly experimental city that continuously changes to find workable urban solutions. This new city would employ the newest technologies in communications, transport, pollution control, energy supply—even large-scale domed enclosure—in an attempt to create more livable cities for the twenty-first century. It was a compelling vision, with powerful backers, hundreds of experts, and its own state agency. But not everyone fell in line with this newfangled vision for the future.
Part of the Real Utopias Film Series from the Miami-Dade College's Museum of Art and Design
The film series Real Utopias features a selection of documentaries and film essays that examine past and current experiments in our collective search for freedom, equality, and democracy. Real Utopias investigates alternative ways in which urban living has been, and can be, designed, from a call to non-violence (Everyday Rebellion: “democracy is like love, you have to make it”) to architects’ futuristic visions (Paolo Soleri: Citizen of the Planet and Jacque Fresco in Future My Love) to utopian urban experiments of the past (The Experimental City; Soul City, USA; New Town Utopia; Brasilia: Life After Design) to a rare look at a post-capitalist, modern-day utopian Europe (Paths Through Utopia).
Real Utopias accompanies MOAD’s A City of the People series, which will take place at multiple locations throughout Miami from April to December of this year. A City of the People will feature a wide range of art experiences, screenings, readings, and public programs that explore what it means to exist in, and as, an urban community.
The curator of the Real Utopias Film Series is Konstantia Kontaxis, Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Center for Communication, Culture and Change at the University of Miami School of Communication.