Marco Brambilla: Civilization

Marco Brambilla re-maps the journey from hell to heaven in a video installation for The Standard Hotel, NYC.

Editor/Research Assistant: Beau Dickson

Assistant: Swapna Tamhane

Production Company: Crush, Toronto

Q&A with Marco Brambilla

Tell me how you got involved with The Standard and this project.

I work as a video artist—the owner of the Standard was familiar with my work from a show in New York. He commissioned a video piece to be featured as a permanent installation at the new Standard hotel in New York.

Was there any type of creative brief given to you?

They were interested in a work which could be installed in the elevators. Other than that there was no brief—the understanding was that I would propose a work and they would either approve it or I would come up with another approach.

How did you come up with the concept for this art installation?

The idea of doing a “video mural” had interested me for quite some time and the journey from hell to heaven depicted in this way seemed to be a good fit.


How did you approach this project?

The first phase was the longest and most involved because it was all about researching and then sampling the film clips. I then put together both a chronological video sequence of the “journey” from hell to heaven and “Photoshopped” collages using still images to create the composition. These elements were then brought to the people at Crush to translate this into motion using the video clips as loops.

There was a great deal of trial and error involved at this stage and I was constantly making adjustments as we proceeded through the final composition to ensure the moving composite would be as seamless as possible.

Were there any challenges?

I don’t think anything like this had been done before so the technique was being refined as the content was being assembled. This could not have been done without an intimate collaborate with Crush at every stage since; there were so many variables to deal with simultaneously.

Tell me how it will be used in The Standard, NY

It will playback on a high-definition monitor which will be seen through a viewing port in each of the elevators at the hotel and move according to the direction of the elevator.


Interview via motionographer