Neues Museum Berlin / Zeitmaschine

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Michael Hoepfel
Chodowiecki Str. 20
10405 Berlin
++49 30 37 30 48 33
  • Project: Neues Museum Berlin / Zeitmaschine
  • Date: January 2013 - June 2014
  • Client: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte
  • Location: Neues Museum, Museumsinsel Berlin
  • Tasks: Concept, Account Planning, Screenplay, 3D Design, Animation Production, Development
  • …

The “Time Machine” is a hommage to the classic diorama being a “spacial image”. At the same time it fulfills the old childhood dreams of travelling through time and diving into painted images:

On a wide panoramic screen visitors experience one specific site as a painted piece of landscape in the course of thousands of years. Yet the special feature of this water color picture is that it contains depth in a literal way. The spectators view is guided behind trees and rocks to have a glimpse into huts and houses. He will see everyday scenes of passing or dwelling contemporaries of this certain era and he might get an idea of what these peoples life must have been like. After a while the tour through the image leads back to the initial view to take turn with a voyage through time: glaciers flow, vegetation flickers like vibrating shadows and climatic changes become apparent.

A time bar along the upper edge of the image visualizes what scales of time are passed. Whenever the next era´s symbol is reached in the time line the time travel ends reveiling a view onto the current state of the landscape into which another dive into the depth of the image begins.

With many visitors watching the “Time Machine” is usually experienced as a cinema show where time travels and explorations of different eras take turns until everything starts over with the ice age 80.000 years ago.
A display console between spectators and the “Time Machine” offers an additional overview of eras and episodes and helps by indicating the current position of the show. At the same time it offers visitors to interactively travel to whatever era or scene they choose by simply taping their destination on the touch screen.

A dense atmosphere of ambience sounds lets the viewer immerse into the animation. Additionally visitors with audio guides will hear a voiceover in their chosen language as soon as they approach the installation. To let the watercolor paintings come out in all details the animation is played back uncompressed in 2 x HD resolution.

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