The animated, carnivalesque tailgate party of Slurb loops and stutters like a vinyl record stuck in a groove. Slurb – a word that collapses “slum” and “suburb” – encapsulates a dreamy ode to the rise of slime, a watery future in which jellyfish have dominion.
There is a history of satirical illustration, epitomized by J.J.Grandville in the 19th century, in which animal-headed humans are deployed in the telling of troubling social narratives. Slurb is that kind of cartoon. Facts of the ocean’s radical changes in acidity and oxygen levels form the backbone of the animation; overfishing, dumping, and climate change’s heating of ocean currents have already triggered a reversion toward a primordial sea in parts of the ocean larger than the state of Texas. Slurb’s surface is inspired by fictions, like J.G. Ballard’s prescient 1962 novel Drowned World, in which inhabitants of a flooded world feel the tug of the sun, and dream of a return to their amniotic past.
About Marina Zurkow
New media artist Marina Zurkow creates research-based animated films that explore the subject of human relations with animals, plants, weather, and the media cultures that develop around these themes. “My work is about the networked stories we tell ourselves about our place in the larger world, the interwoven and often conflicted threads of this, and how these are represented in mediated form,” Zurkow says. In response to online viewing behaviors—particularly the short attention spans of online audiences—Zurkow makes layered psychological narratives that have neither continuous thread, nor beginning or end. Zurkow creates many of the images used in her films by hand, as in Mesocosm (Northumberland UK) (2011), a 146-hour film about a yearlong cycle of life in the moors of northern England, involving weather phenomena and a cast of 150 characters—an investigation of the nature of human relationships with changing landscapes.
American, b. 1962, New York, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York