All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

Essays on Reality

CULTURE

Essays on Reality

London-based Swiss director Greg Barth premieres his latest work

by Gaspard Nemec
on 11 January 2013
essays-reality7.jpg

There's a good chance you have come across Greg Barth's work recently. In the past two years, the Swiss multi-disciplinary art and video director has gotten noticed among enlightened circles, as well as the general public, for his clearly identifiable aesthetic combined with audacious choices of content. After graduating from University of Art and Design of Lausanne (ECAL), Barth moved from Geneva to Montreal where he studied 3D animation for cinema, and established his studio. With clients ranging from record labels such as Sony Music Entertainment to humanitarian organizations like United Nations Geneva, Barth set himself apart for the diversity of his projects.

essays-reality1.jpg

Among his most notable projects is the critically acclaimed music video Barth recently directed for Passion Pit, "I'll Be Alright," which depicts the psychedelic experience of a depressed art museum guard on medication. His impressive re-branding of 7TV Russia, featured in the well-respected Gestalten publication, HIGH TOUCH 2012, also showcased the extent of Barth's abilities in the realm of art direction and advanced camera techniques.

essays-reality2.jpg

When not taking part in design competitions or working for renowned clients, Barth enjoys devoting his time to personal projects where he can let his imagination run free. In this respect, Greg Barth created Essays on Reality, a series of short clips exploring societal themes that have made an impression on him throughout the year. "I want to express how I relate to our humanity," says Barth. "Its themes, situations, cultures, events. Reading the news regularly, an inspiring event would often spark a quirky visual interpretation of it in my mind, a caricature of its existence." Political and cultural events provide the art director with the opportunity to draw caricatures of our contemporary society, ourselves included. Released a year ago, Essays on Reality Chapter I, the first of the series, is available on his website. The project gathers three short essays interpreting themes ranging from the Arab Spring to our consumer society.

essays-reality3bis.jpg

By combining colorful and simple imagery with meaningful symbols, Barth offers an off-beat representation of those issues by giving them a quirky and absurd character that's at the same time infused with understandable logic. The Essays on Reality series avoids all computer generated animation—all effects are done through camera tricks, live action special effects and stop motion animation. "I like working with real materials, people and physical sets," says Barth. "It's much more fun and challenging, but it also gives a texture and feel that is impossible to simulate in CG." For the music and sound design, Barth collaborated with composer Nookaad who provided the project a soundscape skillfully following the tone of the essays.

essays-reality4bis.jpg

Along with a micro website and an exclusive making-of, the Swiss art director is today releasing Essays on Reality II, the second part of the series that we're thrilled to be premiering on Cool Hunting. Essays on Reality II is divided into three parts. Under the umbrella of Generation Y, the themes of hardcore pornography, ambiguous relationships with social technologies and the collapse of European Union are subsequently addressed and satirized.

Like the first episode of the series, Essays on Reality II is characterized by "naive and minimalist" yet meaningful aesthetics. "I have always liked the correlation between simplicity and meaningful," explains Barth. "This contrast is what I love about the series, finding complexity and meaning in the simple, and the absurd in logic." Barth's concepts and their interpretation stem from existentialist and surrealist art figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Marcel Duchamp or Salvadore Dali while his aesthetic influences lay among artists like Jeff Koonz, Maurizio Cattelan, or Matthew Barney. Whether we agree or not with the vision of the society depicted by Barth, the disturbing and intriguing nature of his work won't leave you indifferent.

Visit Barth's website to see his work, and visit his blog, Polygonal Matters, for a good source of daily inspiration.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
Loading More...