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“Civilization” by Marco Brambilla [Facemelters]

This past summer I happened to be in The Standard Hotel in NYC. There’s a lot to peep in that unique building — crazy interior design in the lobby, the well-appointed (if tiny) rooms overlooking the High Line, the shabby-chic hallways, the attractive staff, and the notorious Boom Boom Room. But my favorite part was the elevators, which featured an insanely cool Hieronymous Bosch-like video installation called Civilization.

This work, created by artist Marco Brambilla in collaboration with Toronto production company CRUSH, composites hundreds of images from movie footage, stock footages, and original film clips to create a journey from hell to heaven. You move up and down in this video mural as the elevator rises and descends. It’s frickin’ awesome, trust.

A few screengrabs for the peeps:

Check this bad boy out:

Here’s another link to the video in high-quality glory.

The elevator installations have 3-D layering that makes them especially mind-blowing — here are some interesting comments from the designers of the video that describe the process of its production.

A few images that caught my eye: Ahnuld as Conan the Barbarian, the creepy Oracle from 300, Wonder World from Beverly Hills Cop III, “The World Is Yours” blimp from Scarface, and Marilyn Monroe holding her skirt down in The Seven Year Itch.

In an interview with Interview, Brambilla commented: “I like to play with the idea of visual overload, and use it to ­ create the feeling of spectacle…For Civilization, my inspiration came from the giant murals at the Natural History Museum [in New York].”


Natural History Museum, NYC

Brambilla was later commissioned by Kanye West to do a video for his recent single, “Power,” along the same lines as Civilization.

It’s pretty bad-ass as well. More from Interview:

“It was a dream commission,” says Brambilla. “Working with themes I like to explore with someone like Kanye, who loves to experiment and isn’t afraid to take chances.” Brambilla says the key line to the video was, “No one man should have all that power”: “I’m interpreting that idea as a moment of transition, showing an icon of power at the tipping point. The idea of celebrity, sexuality, and excess… the psychological toll that can take on an individual.” The hyper-saturated result involves 24 layers of imagery combined into a seamless video, to create the effect of “characters, painted in frescoes and come to life.”

This video is packed chock-full of the kind of imagery that makes people think Kanye is in a cult. Beware Masonic wickedness!

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About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

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