Beginning of Life

Take a look at the live production that depicted the earliest years of life on Earth.

As part of this year’s opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Rio, creative agency Oito Zero Oito and Berlin-based artist Susi Sie were drafted to create an awe-inspiring production that depicts the start of primordial life.

Beginning of Life consists of a visual sequence by Sie that was projected onto a 128-square metre screen. Her footage portrays a stormy sea in which bacterial life grows and proliferates. Huge, insect-like sculptures were created for the event and are driven across the platform by human puppeteers, signifying the evolution from simple microscopic organisms to more complex prehistoric animals.

The segmented skeletal design of the moving sculptures was inspired by marine arthropods – the kind of life that dominated Earth millions of years ago – such as lobsters, crabs, centipedes and shrimp.

The performance concludes with a bioluminescent-inspired centrepiece. A wall of tethers is lifted up in the centre of the stage and an additional projection creates the illusion of glowing green fungus that grows out of the platform into the air.

Beginning of Life was coordinated by creative director Fabião Soares of Oito Zero Oito and film director Fernando Mereilles.

Susi Sie is known for her science-based art films that explore unusual forms of nature. She produced the visual projection of Beginning of Life without computer animation, instead, she used authentic footage of microbial life for the production.