An intermedia performance influenced and inspired by the Invisible Cities of Italo Calvino, a poetic novel that imagines and narrates a series of 55 fantastical cities that perhaps exist only in the mind. John Crawford’s Active Space intermedia performance system combined live onstage camera feeds and dance footage with architectural renderings of fragments from Calvino’s text.

Our Invisible Cities in 2004 was the first iteration of a performative media framework that was later expanded to become Urban Fabric, a series of interactive dance/media works staged in Prague, Paris and Beijing in 2005–06. These works situated performers in a processed landscape of media fragments (images, texts, sounds, movement, memories) sampled from cities real and imaginary. Inspired by Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the Urban Fabric project reflected on the urban experience as an embodiment of collective memory.


Claire Trevor Theatre, Irvine, California.


Media, projection & stage designer: John Crawford

Choreographer: Lisa Naugle

Composer: Alan Terricciano

Dancers & media assistants: UC Irvine students

Production date: February 2004