Marco BrambillaItalian (Milan, Italy, 1960)
In Cyclorama, feature filmmaker and media artist Brambilla subverts our sense of time, space, and place through cinematic manipulation.
Popular in the nineteenth century, cycloramas were large-scale panoramic paintings presented in a continuous 360-degree view. Brambilla's contemporary interpretation is a cylindrical white room, featuring nine video monitors displaying separate views from revolving rooftop restaurants in nine North American cities: Montreal, New York, Toronto, New Orleans, Saint Louis, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
Brambilla coordinates the videos so that the sun rises in all of the cities at the same time. The synchronized images create the uncanny illusion of a single panoramic skyline, while a soundtrack of sampled rooftop noises plays in the background. Viewers, detached from the chaotic reality of the city, experience the urban skylines as a flat, banal landscape.