St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on New York’s Lower East Side was the unusual site chosen for the screening of Marco Brambilla’s “Creation“. The stereoscopic video installation, screened this past May 3rd, is the most technically complex of Brambilla’s trilogy, named “Creation (Megaplex)”.
A high level of interest in Milan-born Mr. Brambilla’s work must exist, since attendees formed a long line up and down the block of Mulberry Street where the church — New York’s ‘original’ St. Patrick’s — is located. When the gates opened, the crowd picked up 3D glasses as they entered the church. Whether or not the idea of setting it in a church was meant to convey a layer of meaning to the work, I know not. While I might not be religiously inclined, I had to admit that the darkened architecture of the 140-year old structure did lend an element of drama.
Brambilla’s work, projected in 3D onto a large screen in front of the altar, was a dense tunnel, which you move through as layers of moving images and other pictures fly past. The video, rich with layers of imagery, was stunning to behold, hypnotic and trance-like. The lush non-stop parade of images included unmistakable clips from cultural markers such as The Sound of Music, Mars Attacks, Austin Powers, The Big Lebowski, Superman, Dr. Strangelove and many others against a hyper-realistic landscape of clouds, meadows and burning cityscapes. After several minutes the video would seamlessly loop.
As described by the artist, “Creation” takes the viewer on a spiraling trajectory that begins with a Big Bang and continues through embryonic inception, idyllic Eden-like bliss and decadences, and finally culminates in annihilation – only then to re-invent itself.
Ntropic creative director and founder Nate Robinson used Autodesk Flame visual effects software as well as Autodesk Maya to deliver the project’s stunning effects. To make sense of some 1500 video clips, Ntropic custom-designed a digital rotoscoping pipeline with Flame at the core. The team also created a high volume of 3D elements that appear throughout the film.
“‘Creation’ is a fitting finale to Marco’s trilogy; it’s a masterwork that tells an engaging story through a collage of artfully curated visual moments,” said Robinson. “We pushed the technology to the limit to create an immersive 3D art experience and applied some of the same techniques and tools that we use on commercial and music video projects to help realize Marco’s vision.”
The third installment in Brambilla’s 3D “[Megaplex]” trilogy, “Creation” follows Brambilla’s “Evolution” (2010) and “Civilization” (2008). For more information about “Creation” visit the artist’s website at http://marcobrambilla.com/home.html.