The Standard Hotel’s Stunning Video Collage of Heaven and Hell

A video artist assembles hundreds of movie clips into one stunning piece inspired by Dante’s Inferno.

Dante's Interno

Guests at the swank new Standard Hotel, on the western edge of Manhattan, are treated to an otherworldly piece of eye candy: “Civilization,” a depiction of heaven, hell, and purgatory created by video artist Marco Brambilla. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, it’s cobbled together from hundreds of scenes, lifted from movies; the piece runs as one enormous video collage. As the elevator rises, the sequence, running from an overhead projector, ascends to heaven. As the elevator descends, the video runs in reverse, ending in hell.


Brambilla created the piece by mining hundreds of video clips, which he photoshopped together. He then took these to a digital animation house which combined all the clips, so that each one runs in a loop as part of one single video collage. Stunning stuff. Motionographer has a brief interview with Brambilla—but even if you skip that, watch the video. How many movies can you recognize? 

Interestingly, Dante’s masterpiece is much on the minds of designers lately: Check out this video game, which it also inspired. 

[Via Motionographer]

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.