Incredible art sometimes shows up in the most unlikely places. But how often would you expect to find it in a hotel? And more to the point, how often would you expect to find it in a hotel elevator?
The latest collaboration between visual artist Marco Brambilla
, and a production company that goes by the name of Crush
, has produced a work that is impressive from both a technical and an artistic perspective. The title of the piece is Civilization
. Civilization is a video mural now on permanent display at the Standard Hotel in New York.
Civilization depicts a journey from hell to heaven interpreted through modern film language using computer-enhanced found footage.
This epic video mural contains over 300 individual channels of looped video blended into a multi-layered seamless tableau of interconnecting images that illustrate a contemporary, satirical take on the concepts of Heaven and Hell.
As a purely visual work of art, Civilization is stunning in and of itself. But what really sets it apart is the way it has been installed
, as opposed to displayed. This video mural is synchronized with the speed of the elevator
to give the viewer a totally unique experience while viewing this work.
Notes from Crush Senior Artist Sean Cochrane
We at Crush already had a previous relationship with Marco as we helped him create a piece of video art shot in a train station in Berlin and we had done post on a few commercial he’s directed.
We love working with Marco as he is very creative and he likes to work very fast. When new ideas are unearthed during the creative process, you have to be ready to go with him and explore those ideas or you simply don’t keep up with him. When he asked us to work with him on Civilization, a vision he had of taking hundreds of stock footage, movie footage and original clips and combining them to create a moving landscape depicting the ascension from hell to heaven, we knew that it was going to be huge challenge but one we were very excited about.
Marco is very gutsy and bold but also has great respect for collaboration and discovery of ideas that blossom during the process. The project had two huge challenges. Firstly we needed to figure out how to create content that could move with the elevator where it would ultimately be viewed. The idea was this, when you go up in the elevator the content goes down and when you go down it goes up. Not unlike a ride film this project was designed to be synced to the moving environment of the hotel elevators in New York. We wanted to synchronize the footage to the movement of the elevator as best as we could.
The second challenge was creative. What are we seeing through this ‘elevator window’? We only really knew at the beginning that the canvas or environment would be very tall and skinny due to the physics of elevator travel and we wanted to go from a hellish landscape to a heavenly one.
We began with exploring the idea of using a game engine to house the project. Seemed easy, map footage onto planes in space, attach a PC to the elevator and we can move up and down in the game environment all day. Unfortunately, once we started to collage the clips together in the Flame we knew the game engine idea wouldn’t fly. We approximated that we would have 250 looped HD clips in the environment and our Flame could barely handle it (in the end it was closer to 500 looping clips). We compromised by locking ourselves into the idea that we would create a huge vertical canvas that we would scan up and down on once the elevator was in motion. The final piece was approximately 1920 x 7500 pixels.
Small-sized versions of this work can be found on various websites. But to get the full effect, make it a point to view the larger, hi-rez version (along with production notes) at this link:http://motionographe...mbilla-civilization/
I'd suggest you download this version and run it full screen. After you've watched it, run it a few more times and see how many static and moving images within the piece you can identify. (I particularly enjoyed spotting the flame-whip wielding Balrog from Lord of the Rings
.) The more you watch it the more you can appreciate just how much imagination and effort went into creating this piece.
Note: If you're even slightly interested in motion graphics, take a little time to browse around the rest of the Motionographer (rhymes with "oceanographer") website at: www.motiongrapher.com