Mapping a Valley with Earth’s 5-Billion Year Journey
The animation company Ouchhh projects five billion years of Earth’s history onto the Cappadocia Zelve Valley's trippy topography.
All Images courtesy the artists.
What if you could see Earth’s 5-billion year journey not just in a book or on screen, but on the planet’s very topography? That’s the idea behind the audio-visual performance Revolution of Topography, Cappadocia: Epic History of Humanity, which features 3D animations projection mapped onto the rocky surface of the Cappadocia Zelve Valley.
Produced by FikirbazZenger and directed by Ferdi Alıcı, Revolution of Topography has been billed as the world’s “largest mountain surface mapping”; and, with a 10-year screening time, will run for longer than any other projection mapping installation in history. The a/v installation, located at Cappadocia Zelve Valley Open Air Museum, will run through all phases of Cappadocia’s history, from geographical formation and topographical transformations to the emergence of civilization and religion.
The 3D animations, created by the Istanbul-based animation company Ouchhh, are mapped onto Cappadocia’s unreal pillar-like rock formations that the locals call “fairy chimneys.” Apart from geographical formations and topographical transformations, the 3D animations show cave paintings, early human dwellings and humanity’s control of fire in Cappadocia, an area known for its Christian monastic communities and structures, which was taken into consideration in planning the projection.
“The Cappadocia area is one of the most beautiful combinations of nature and history in [the] world,” Ouchhh explains. “After geographical transformations formed the fairy chimneys, people sculpted their houses [and] churches into them, decorated using frescos. Zelve Valley is a primordial area and it's known as the first place that Christianity started to spread around the [world].”
Revolution of Topography calls to mind Jorge Luis Borges’ essay "On Exactitude in Science," in which it’s almost as if the great Argentine author and librarian saw our hyperreal projection-mapped (and Google-mapped) future. In it, he muses on the blurring of lines between the map and the territory. Ouchhh doesn’t exactly do this with their ambitious 5-billion year animated projection map, but they literally use the Earth as both map and canvas, which is just as interesting.
Click here to see more of Ouchhh’s interaction design and animation work.