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The amazing work of Till Nowak

Today I discovered The Centrifuge Brain Project. I wont tell more about it before you’ve seen it – you can check it out here:

The Centrifuge Brain Project is a fictional documentary by the incredibly gifted CG artist Till Nowak. I am just as obsessed with the strange, otherworldly atmosphere of amusement parks as Nowak, and I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful idea. Amusement parks are encircled by that ‘Magic circle’ which delineates all games and makes them something other than everyday life, which you agree upon when entering the game. When you enter an amusement park, you prepare to be amazed and to experience what game scholar Roger Callois names ilinx, which is that sensory disruption experienced when bungee jumping, skiing, or being on a roller coaster. In this video, Nowak creates a purely visual amusement park – we are as viewers amazed by imagining these rides.

What’s really interesting is how the genre of the documentary tries to blend the fiction with reality, just as the CGI is seamlessly merged with the actual footage.Also, the fiction does not stop at the video itself, but has a website which plays into the fiction too, by looking very corporate and believable. When watching the other small interviews with “Dr. Nick Laslowicz” the fiction gradually unfold in a humorous way, as the good doctor explains that no, he has never himself tried the rides, and yes, they did experience slight technical hiccups with the 14 hour long ride, as people were forced to relieve themselves in the cars.

Nowak explins his view on the nature of art in this interview at itsartmag:

“For me art is like a big game of communication and influence between people: We create something, not only for ourselves, but to show it to other people, enjoy the reaction of the audience and try to influence. So it’s like another form of communication, like talking to each other, but sometimes more powerful, more difficult, more international, more playful and more subtle at the same time. In fact, I rarely think about theoretical definitions, I just do what crosses my mind and go where my feelings lead me.”

To me, art is just that too; a game between artist, work and the people who engage with it. I love that Nowak uses the word game to describe art – a artist plays with viewer/user/reader of art, in a way similar to a chess problem posed by the artist. It is an experience of entwineing thoughts and emotions. But of course, that my take on art. (You might disagree, finding that art has a greater purpose than eliciting an emotional response).

However, in the video Nowak crafts an experience for the viewer which not only creates an emotional response, but also a a thoughtful one as the viewer is left to ponder just when she discovered the fiction, and reflect on the relationship between fiction, reality, perception and new media.

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