top of page
Sam Mattacott - Formalist SketchUp

Sam Metz

Linearity and Predictability; The City Fragment

The notion of a line or a straight line was introduced by ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects with insignificant width and depth. Lines are an idealisation of such objects. An identifiable path created by a point moving in space, often defining the edges of a form, they lead your eye around the composition and can communicate information through their character and direction.

Sam Metz has employed them as tools to generate filmic representations of existing built environments. Simple line forms and pattern-making allow viewers to imagine themselves in spaces, through using devices of repetition and certainty; simple block line forms permit us to imagine the extents of drawn worlds. The ability to imagine yourself as the (absent) subject of the film is an interesting one and has been experimented with since the 20's, where city symphonies and montage based films without human leads captured the urban space.

The film’s setup is one considering predictability and imagining within the built environment by subverting the technique of CAD walkthroughs; these walkthroughs are often designed to give prospective clients (for new developments) a sense of place. Developing patterns and line forms from real city spaces give them enough potential to create whole environments. However, here they have been reduced to architectural skeletons, linear descriptions of chosen sites in Nottingham which are a mere echo of their previous selves.

During the residency Metz has delved into how these line forms can describe a sense of place, comparing the difference between gestural hand drawn lines and the more mechanical approach of the SketchUp interface. They have combined drawn, animated rendered and filmed representations of space in order to consider ideas of ownership and place making, through the experimental documentation techniques that both describe and disrupt ways of seeing the built environment.


*  *  *


Sam Metz is a performance artist, educator and researcher based in Nottingham and working across the East Midlands, with a background in architecture and physical theatre.

They are currently engaged in developing theories of the body in space through practice based research. Sams work is often interested in revealing notions of ‘mechanisms’ and ‘workings’ in technology and imagining. Their research interest can be described within the emerging field of design anthropology with a particular focus on anthropology of the senses and somatics. Sam immerses them-self in postures and movements that emerge from digital technology and body interactions. They are motivated by the tacit knowledge of the body, what the body learns when nobody is watching.

Sam creates participatory performance responding to architecture. Sam is a member of Guerrilla Art Lab, Nottingham.

Sam has researched performance, technology and museum education for a number of organisations including Manchester Metropolitan University, Nottingham Contemporary and Nottingham Museums and Galleries.

bottom of page