From Hell to Heaven in an Elevator

September 10th, 2010 – by Jeremy W. Yoder, Editors Blog

On Tuesday, I wrote about the experience of watching as an adolescent an evangelistic film that depicted unsaved people going to hell in an elevator after death. Along similar lines, Marco Brambilla’s Civilization is a video mural installed in the elevator of the Standard Hotel in New York City that utilizes clips from hundreds of movies to depict a journey from hell to heaven.

Download Civilization by Marco Brambilla

According to the artists, the mural is a 1920 x 7500 pixel digital canvas that scans up and down according to the direction of the elevator. Over 500 clips from stock footage and films like Ghostbusters, 300, Flash Gordon, and The Wizard of Oz run in a loop as the elevator travels through these digital landscapes.

It’s a project that seems both playful and a bit creepy. I’m not sure I’d want to see it through the window of a darkened elevator.

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