Title of Project: Slurb
Artist: Concept/ direction/animation: Marina Zurkow; Music by Lem Jay Ignacio
Year Completed: 2009 Location: projection at St. Pete Times Forum.
Gallery of stills from Slurb
Marina Zurkow’s installation was one of several commissioned for Lights On Tampa 2009. Lights On Tampa is a biennial program of the City of Tampa, Public Art Program whose mission is to bring free access to artistic excellence. Artists were selected from an international call to artists from a jury that included writer and cultural critic, Dave Hickey; Anne Pasternak, Director of Creative Time; and Jerry Saltz, Art Critic for New York Magazine. During its 3 week run, nearly a million people experienced Lights On Tampa.
For Lights On Tampa, Slurb, the 18 minute animation loop with soundtrack, was projected onto a blank wall of the St. Pete Times Forum with the final projection approximately 33’ high x 60’ wide. The soundtrack, with lyrics containing scientific names of jellyfish species, was pumped into the outdoor plaza of the Forum for viewers to enjoy. Slurb also has a strong online component with the animation permanently available on the city of Tampa’s website, the St. Petersburg Times News In Education website and www.lightsontampa.org. Zurkow also produced Slurb as a single-channel animation for use on the City of Tampa Television station which runs periodically on CTTV.
The animated, carnivalesque tailgate party of Slurb loops and stutters, like a vinyl record stuck in a groove. In Slurb, people have been forced to move onto the water, where the jellyfish now have dominion. This animation recalls the satirical illustrations of J.J. Grandville’s where animal-headed humans tell social narratives; and J.G. Ballard’s prescient 1962 novel Drowned World where inhabitants of a flooded world feel the tug of the sun, and dream of a return to their amniotic past.