A seasonal campaign for the Deutsche Oper Berlin encourages reflection.
- Deutsche Oper Berlin
- Visual Identity
A campaign for the 2023/24 season that effectively conveys the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s stance.
Visualising the universal questions of human existence through the creative use of an AI-based tool.
Campaign motifs presented in a dynamic, contemporary aesthetic that encourage reflection on both textual and visual levels.
We are in the process of crafting the 2023/24 season campaign for the Deutsche Oper Berlin – a campaign that positions the institution as a driving force. Our motifs depict universal human questions, drawing from themes explored in opera that remain as relevant today as ever. Leveraging the creative capabilities of an AI-based tool, we have produced images imbued with a captivating and contemporary aesthetic. These visuals encourage observers to reflect upon their own viewpoints.
Creating space for reflection in times of crisis
What is the relevance of opera when current events are dominated by crises? When society seems to be drifting apart and there is a lack of direction? The Deutsche Oper Berlin does not position itself as a guiding light in times like these. Instead, it provides the impetus and space for reflection – both on the pressing issues of our time and on own selves.
This is the stance that will be conveyed in the 2023/24 season campaign. To achieve this, we centre our attention on the universal questions of human existence that emerge from the operas premiering this season. We depict individuals captured in the very moment of grappling with questions that remain unanswered. Motif headlines include: ‘Who dictates the path?,’ ‘What is the source of your confidence?’ and ‘What drives your pursuit of happiness?’
The search for the right tool
Exploring these questions is as intricate as it is contradictory. To visually convey this ambiguity, we set out to find a suitable tool. After experimenting with different AI-based tools, we found the perfect solution in NeRF (neural radiance fields). This is a technology that uses neural networks to transform photographs of a scene into 360-degree views.
A creative use of AI
Drawing inspiration from the premiering operas, we chose six locations where we photographed the protagonists from different angles. With the help of NeRF, we generated a spatial representation from approximately 100 photographs. When designing the campaign motifs, we then exploited a limitation in the technology, deliberately manipulating the data to introduce digital flaws into otherwise lifelike scenes.
The result is captivating images with a modern aesthetic that delicately tread along the fine line between reality and fiction. These visuals depict people in ordinary settings, enveloped by hazy blurs that distort the boundaries of space, rendering it surreal. In our campaign, we used both still images and video sequences that navigate through the AI-generated environments. In motion, these images reveal their full disconcerting effect: as the camera gracefully moves around the room, the people at the centre remain utterly still.
Outlook for the 2024/25 season
The 2023/24 season campaign marks our second consecutive project with Deutsche Oper Berlin, where we have been exploring the possibilities of AI. Artificial intelligence has become an untested instrument for us to execute creative ideas in novel ways. We are already in the early stages of planning another AI-driven campaign for the 2024/25 season.
We extend our special thanks to Ralf Grauel for helping us craft the headlines.