Dystopian Utopia

Posted on Sunday, July 25th, 02010 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link Categories: Long Term Art   chat 0 Comments

Radoslav Zilinsky’s 2007 artwork “The World”

A stunning painting of a possible future (or present depending on how you look at it)… walled cities of techno-utopia surrounded by the rest of the world living in the middle ages.  Here is a link to the large version on Zilinzky’s site.  (Found via Coolvibe.)

  • Tom Petrie

    Hello Richard,

    Thanks for your comments. I too felt the same way you felt until I learned a few additonal pieces of information.

    First, the life expectancy of Americans has been dramatically increased, but most of this increase has been due to the decrease in communicative diseases at the turn of the century. Most of this decrease came from improved sanitation and public health programs that reduced infant mortality from over 100 to below 10. As a result, life expectancy increased some 25-30 years. HOWEVER, if you remove those folks who have made it to age 45, then life expectancy has increased only 5-6 years. Part of the reason life expectancy is so dismal is because of deaths due to modern medicine: (Read “death by medicine” by Gary Null & Associates: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_01.htm.) How many deaths? About 750,000 EXTRA per year, in America. Just a different perspective, but we are NOT healthy, that’s for sure!

    And there have been many deaths in “primitive cultures” but NOT in those “uncontaminated” by “modern” explorers (Think decimation of the American Indians by European explorers–90 percent of deaths were due to disease, NOT warfare!

  • It is a stunning painting! Still, primitive or not, I'd rather live like on the bottom of the page than the top! The top also includes (likely), the epidemics of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, parkinson's and other degenerative diseases. The bottom, assuming there isn't the usual junk food and sedentary lifestyle will likely live much longer and, I venture to guess, much happier lives.

    I'll take the bottom lifestyle, thank you very much.

    Tom, Nutritionist

  • Dileep

    Isn't this a depiction of the society in Zamyatin's “We” novel?
    The walled city is meant to be dystopia, and the outside is where human emotions and freedom thrive. And they're not actively medieval, just got left behind at the station.
    Ahem …. “The Future is already here. Its just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

  • Richard

    @ Tom Petrie on exactly what do you base your assumption that the people outside the walls live healthier lives on?

    The picture holds a comparison to contemporary society in which both you and I (healthy long lives) would find ourselves inside the walled city while the people in the foreground relate to, for example, African people (short lives and lots of diseases).

    Mankind has never been healthier, richer and lived longer than in the modern western society.

    Before the era of “junk food” and “sedentary lifestyle” people died of such simple diseases as diarrhea which is now killing millions of children every year in societies much alike the one in the foreground of the picture. There is also a nice little correlation between wealth and happiness.

  • Noobos

    Stunning art, amazing detail; I’d just love to see more views of it (it’s 3D CGI). I’ve seen it few years before. Just want to clarify some details:

    – The name of the artwork is “Worth enough”, not “The World”
    – Author’s name is Žilinský, there is no need to misspell with Unicode

    You can see the wireframe and sketchwork on http://www.maxarea.com/image.php?id=293, just below the image
    Also you can take a look on Radoxist’s other amazing work on his homepafe http://www.radoxist.com/artworks/56

  • I like this painting. “It's really Neat” – Robin Scherbatski #HIMYM

  • Guest

    This is cool, but it's not the present. The present has the world urbanizing rapidly, especially in developing nations (aka 'third world'). The wall wouldn't be between technological civilization and noble savagery, but between the urban haves in walled, guarded towers and urban have-nots in shantytowns, living off their refuse. Cf Mumbai, Sao Paolo, Lagos.

  • I would prefer to live in the middle ages, the walled cities resemble a maximum security prison!

  • Tom Petrie

    Richard, you're right! I DID make an assumption, but it's based upon the health of modern societies v. primitive cultures, NOT influenced by horrible diets. The LONGEST lived peoples are primitive cultures eating exemplary diets such as the Vilcabamas, the New Guinea Islanders, the Soviet Georgians and the Hunzas of East Tibet.

    Truth be told, these primitive cultures live very long lives (although possibly prone to exaggeration), and suffer from little if any heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer or arthritis. In America? 575,000 died from cancer just last year and almost the same from heart disease. This is NOT because we're living longer, as many are succumbing to these diseases way before 72-78, our current life expectancy.

    So I have no idea what the lifestyle is of the people living in the different portions of Zilinsky's painting and it is an assumption I should not have made. But based upon modern evidence, I thought it was a fair assumption to make.

  • Maybe it will be like Zardoz?


  • Richard

    Wikipedia can, as always, give interesting reading on the subject, most interesting to my point is the following section:


  • i like this place…so beautiful….

  • Thanks Richard for that link…a very fine article with which to start my morning! I had no idea life expectancy over the past several centuries in so many cultures was….so awful! And both Wikipedia and myself had tried to eliminate the “infant mortality” issue: IF you make it to your first (or 5th) birthday…you're MUCH more likely to make it to 50 (or 60 or 70). In other words, if you do NOT die of some illness early on, that will help. As we teach folks about living a long life, we may seem pedantic to say, “To live a long life, you can't die young.” Yet, watching before you cross the street, wearing seatbelts and other measures are critical to not die young. Thanks again for the WP link!


  • Wes

    i see no reason why there cant be a future that blends the two life styles.

  • Stef

    A truly fascinating piece… Reminds me of some cities in Africa, and in particular of pink glass tower of the Banque des états d'Afrique centrale towering over working-class neighborhoods in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

  • Frank Smith

    This is beginning now. it won't look classical medieval, as in the beautiful image above, but it is beginng.


  • Hohum

    Funny how different people see different things. i see a world thats advanced so far that people who choose to live unnecessarily in a simpler more down to earth way, can do it a stones throw from the effluent that is clean enough to drink and eat out of.

  • Great painting showing where the world is heading and what people refuses to see.

  • Wow. Great picture. Loved it.

  • it's a gorgeous picture that i have been seen ever.

  • I think this is one of the most vital information for me.

  • It was interesting. You seem very knowledgeable in your field.

  • Some places like this do exist now in some places of INDIA

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