Owen Brown’s acclaimed short film showcases mirror monoliths

Owen Brown, the creative director behind the music video “Moving On” by the band A R I Z O N A, has earned three Clio Awards for his cinematic work, which is celebrated for its excellence in advertising. The film not only features a vast land art installation by Jim Denevan but also introduces a series of transient mirror monoliths that blend into the natural scenery of Arizona’s national parks.

The trio of bespoke sculptures, each reflecting a band member, infuses the film with a personal narrative element. They also nod to the enigmatic Utah Monolith, an art piece that appeared without explanation in Red Rock in 2020, adding a mysterious dimension to the visual identity of A R I Z O N A’s album promotion.

Brown’s involvement with the band’s latest album campaign began in 2022, where he took on the role of shaping their visual brand, merging the rugged beauty of Arizona with contemporary art elements. Brown describes his vision as akin to placing a Jeff Koons balloon piece within the Grand Canyon. To realize this vision, he collaborated with Jim Denevan to create a significant land art piece against the backdrop of Arizona’s red rocks, and crafted unique mirrored sculptures that were placed in some of the state’s most renowned national parks.

The concept behind the mirror sculptures was to create a visual representation of the band members. Brown was inspired by the Utah monolith’s mystique, aiming to create a similar iconic structure for Arizona.

The monoliths’ design was a collaborative effort between Brown, photographers Abi Polinsky and Josh Chomik, and featured recurring motifs of mirrors and triangles. Brown explains that triangles were a central theme in the land art with Denevan, and this geometric shape also formed the basis of the monoliths.

Brown, Polinsky, Chomik, and the band members then embarked on a journey across Arizona, transporting the monoliths in a large truck. They visited iconic sites such as Cathedral Rock in Sedona and The Teepees in the Petrified Forest National Park to capture the sculptures on film. The team had to hand-carry the monoliths into the parks due to vehicle restrictions.

Brown emphasizes that, unlike the Utah Monolith, they had official authorization to place their sculptures in the parks. They coordinated with the National Park Service and the United States Department of Agriculture for months to ensure the project was fully permitted. After documenting the monoliths, they were meticulously removed, and now, like the Utah Monolith, they can only be witnessed through photographs.