Anthropocene is an aesthetic investigation into the energy and rhythm of the transition between the city and the park. Brambilla highlights the fissure between nature and technology; the man-made and the pastoral; the subjective and the objective; and the paradox that one of New York City’s largest natural spaces is in fact man-made.
The term ‘Anthropocene’ is derived from geology and describes the extent of influence human activities have had on Earth’s ecosystems. Projected on three suspended 22 by 30 foot screens, Anthropocene consists of two intersecting cinematic chapters that Brambilla created after meticulously exploring the park’s design with the Central Park Conservancy’s official historian.
In POV, the work’s central motif, Brambilla employs LiDAR scanning, a technology often used in archaeology to digitally map objects using reflected laser light. The effect is an ethereal, yet scientifically accurate simulation that tracks the terrain from the southwest corner to the northeast corner of Central Park. Panorama, the second chapter, displays roving iconic views of the park, which circle on two adjacent screens. Brambilla shot the images using black- and-white night vision, with views of traffic circulating around the park’s perimeter and Columbus Circle depicted as a pulsing light show of energy.
Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, NYC
James Johnston, Sam Hencher
February 22, 2016