“Marco Brambilla is a visual and installation artist, based in New York and Berlin. He is primarily known for his elaborate re-contextualizations of found imagery, often employing new technologies in his work”, including 3D technologies, LiDAR computer mapping, and photo-realistic computer simulations (marcobrambilla.com). His background in film and directing has translated into his meticulous artistic approach, has even done commissioned video work for luxury brands and his art has been featured at film festivals.
He talked with Interview Magazine about why he thinks video art is important and different, and it gave me a good idea about why that’s the artistic channel he keeps gravitating towards:
“The durational aspect of video art is very different from photography or sculpture. The idea of looping things interferes with that a little bit. It eliminates that finite viewing period which I think is not so expressive sometimes. Maybe you don’t see everything the first time, and the second time you see more elements, so the loop allows people to be kind of overwhelmed. But also there’s an accessibility the second time around, which you don’t notice the first time around.”
Basically, I found Brambilla to be the king of appropriation as I started viewing his work, especially when it came to Civilization! He used over 400 video clips in this piece, and although I kept trying to look at specific clips trying to figure out which iconic movies or videos they were from, but I was never once able to differentiate between or pick them out. Even though the 400 clips had been taken from somewhere else and may have already existed for a long time, they took on a life of their own and became a new original work. Brambilla’s works helped me realize just how much I like the appropriation approach, and how it can be used to help showcase an older, previously made work in a new, unique light … a light that viewers experience as installation art when riding up an elevator!
Echo, on the other hand, has no appropriated pieces but is a mega collage of over 200 LiDAR scans mashed together to portray a journey through Central Park in a fantastical, almost supernatural way. LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging Scanning, uses a pulsing laser to generate a 3D image of the environment all the way down to the surfaces’ details. And Brambilla really was meticulous about getting down to those details; his plan involved taking one scan every 75 feet, moving from the south of the park to the north … Talk about scanography!
These last few pieces I viewed, Cathedral and Cylcorama were some of my favorites because they portrayed things like industrialism, commerce, city scapes and commercialism (Cathedral is all filmed in a mall throughout the Christmas shopping season) in a beautiful way.
Ultimately, Marco Brambilla helped me develop a newfound approach and view of appropriation, and showcased through his approaches how meticulous planning can really pay off in the final product.