"Like us, the natural world has its moods:
It can be troubled or serene, furious or loving, chaotic or caring.
Common Ground takes us on an entrancing journey
through nature's dramatic moments,
heading towards a sanctuary of peace."
Common Ground is a media installation designed for the powerhouse museum in Sydney and was shown on the vivid Sydney Festival 2023. I, as an Art Director, worked together with urbanscreen to sought a deeper significance in the storytelling approach of this media installation. We have come to the conclusion that nature cannot only be presented as a place that humankind consumes and uses for its own purposes. Nature as such is like a person with a wide range of emotions: It can be fragile, reserved, gentle, but also powerful, angry, exuberant.
Thus, the title Common Ground embodies two meanings for us: We want to show that it is important for us as humans to become one with nature. By not looking at it from an external perspective, but understanding that we are a part of it, we come to a common ground with it.
Nature transcends the narrow confines of good and bad, for its beauty emanates from the very essence of its existence, unblemished by human judgments. In its pristine state, nature reveals a myriad of facets, akin to the rich tapestry of human emotions. It gracefully navigates the realms of tranquility and tempestuousness, embodying the ebb and flow of life’s experiences.
Using glitch as a visual antagonist to nature, we created a contrast between the organic and the artificial. Through glitch aesthetics, we symbolized the consequences of human intervention in nature, sparking reflection on the impact of our actions. The incorporation of glitch captivated and engaged the audience, creating a visually captivating experience that prompted active interpretation.
Conceptionally I focused to create a visual language that evokes a sense of disruption and imbalance in nature. Therefor I sought to employ clear shapes to visually represent the clash between human influence and the natural world. By using these shapes to cut through nature, it brings forth the dissonance and contrast that arises from this interaction.
One of the unique elements of this visual language is the use of inverted landscapes. By flipping these natural sceneries upside down, I aimed to heighten the sense of unfamiliarity and unsettlement, further accentuating the departure from any established patterns.
Early concept ideas for our antagonist, the mighty glitch.
Art direction & Concept: Steffen Hörbrand
Motion Design: Steffen Hörbrand, Moritz Horn, Ana Romao
3D Supervision: Moritz Horn
Sound Design: Iona Wiese, Janis E. Müller
Project Management & Concept: Lydia Liedtke
Overall Production: Till Botterweck
Camera on location: Till Botterweck, Ana Romao, Steffen Hörbrand
I‘m Steffen Hörbrand. I'm a freelance Art Director and Motion Designer based in Berlin.
My passion is mediatecture, fusing the electronical world with our reality to create astonishing physical spaces with digital layer. I love the logic of good code as well as the clean aesthetic of a moodboard. In my free time I also work with the coding tool Touchdesigner to achieve a more interactive experience of my projects.
I'd love to hear from you! Just write me an email or on social media.
Art direction, Styleframing,
Motion, Coding, Media Art,
3D, Graphic Design,
Houdini / Cinema4D
After Effects / Adobe CC
Redshift3D / Octane
I worked with agencies like
Aixsponza, Blackspace, Flora & Fauna Visions, Urbanscreen, Visual Drugstore, Sehsucht and Tamschick
for clients like
Intel, MAN, Volkswagen, ABB, Philips, GoreTex, ZDF, ARD, Nickelodeon