In the Labyrinth

In the Labyrinth is one of a series of videos that addresses environmental and cultural anxieties. Growing up in rural America, the forest was for me, a place that stimulated both terror and desire. I projected all kinds of fantasies onto the gnarled landscapes. Even now, the forest continues to maintain its powerful pull over my thoughts and fears, though the terrors projected onto that landscape have grown far more ominous in scope and scale as threat of environmental disaster darkens the horizon. It seems impossible to imagine an American landscape without the frame of profound worry for its future.

As a society, our worries are not limited to environmental apocalypse. The growing divide between the richest and poorest in America has expanded at an alarming rate. The concentration of wealth at the top pushes greed deep into the territory of perversion. Taken together, these concerns combine to form a fairly potent synthesis of fears. In the Labyrinth is an imaginary landscape built as a repository for those anxieties.

Project Team

Production: Dirt Empire

Creative Director: Nicholas Rubin

Lead Compositor: Peter Panton

Lead Texture Artist: Joshua Vaughan

Lead Digital Sculpting and Modeling: Nicholas Rubin

Assistant Sculpting and Modeling: Zain Awais

Assistant Animator: Alexis Kadonsky


In the Labyrinth, installed at The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI, 2017.



Dreams of Infinite Luster, featuring In the Labyrinth, installed at 21C Museum Hotel, Durham, NC, 2017. 

Dreams of Infinite Luster, 2017, Installation View.

Dreams of Infinite Luster, 2017, Installation View. 

Still from In the Labyrinth, 2015-2017, 2:10.

In the Labyrinth as installed at the Los Angeles Arboretum for the show Digital Nature, 2016.