Snail Trail

22 September 2012


Warning: contains flashing lights.
A snail invents the wheel and goes through a cultural evolution to finally get back to its origin. This enigmatic animated short is by German artist Philipp Artus. His experimental animations and site-specific installations explore the manifestations of life through movement, sound and imagery. He composes audiovisual experiences that unite playful elements with minimalist structures, timeless themes with contemporary observations, turbulent acceleration with contemplative silence.

Artus describes the project thus: The basic idea of the work is inspired by processes of exponential acceleration, which can be observed at different levels. Thus, the evolution of life proceeds at an extremely slow pace for more than 3 billion years, until it suddenly seems to explode in the Cambrian period. The tools of human beings progress relatively little during the Stone Age until there comes a rapid cultural development during the Holocene. Nowadays, a similar acceleration process is generated by the exchange of information through the internet. From this perspective, the exponential spiral on a snail shell may almost appear like a miraculous wink of nature.


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