Visual Design and Performance: Deborah Johnson Set Design: Adrian Jones Lighting Design: Ben Stanton
The challenge of the visual design for The Age of Adz was to dynamically illustrate the concept and story arc of the record: an apocalyptic space rock opera that promised hope and redemption.
The Age of Adz record was largely inspired by the late “outsider artist” Royal Robertson. In short, he was obsessed with mythology, ufos, space monsters, astrology, hot women and the end of the world. While not every song was directly influenced by Royal, each visual respected his world view – be it colors, composition, the kind of orthogonal perspective he employed – maintaining a cohesiveness throughout the set so we never leave the imaginary world in which Sufjan and his band do battle with love and the universe.
The multi-screen set included a large temple-like trapezoid backdrop, a giant diamond and a translucent scrim. When lowered, the scrim allowed the projections to appear immersive and three-dimensional, surrounding the band in graphics and light.
A trailer promoting our finale shows in Prospect Park, Brooklyn can be seen here and a selection of visual designs can be seen on Vimeo.
Tools: VDMX / Quartz Composer / After Effects / Illustrator / Photoshop / Unity 3D / 3D Max / Director