SLURB by Marina Zurkow

Inhabitants of a flooded world

Inhabitants of a flooded world feel the tug of the sun, and dream of a return to their amniotic past.

Slurb (2009) by Marina Zurkow Duration: 6′ excerpt from 17′42″ (loop) Color, animation and stereo sound Format: Blu-Ray disc Dimensions (in pixels): 1920 x 1080 Music by Lem Jay Ignacio Additional animation: Jen Kelly Courtesy, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Video stills from Slurb

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.

Facts of the ocean’s radical changes in acidity and oxygen levels form the backbone of the animation; overfishing, dumping, and the heating of ocean currents have already triggered reversions toward a primordial sea. 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. And yet nothing is fiction (although everything is hybrid): all the source material for the piece is taken from YouTube, nature footage sites, and Google searches.


Slurb was presented in the exhibition We Write This To You From The Distant Future at Google headquarters and at international locations in Streaming Museum network of screens in public spaces.


Marina Zurkow was born in 1962 in New York. She lives and works in New York. Zurkow is a video and media artist whose works have taken the form of multi-channel videos, customized multi-screen computer pieces, performative and interactive works. Her recent animated psychological narratives address humans and their relationships to animals, plants and the weather. Slyly candy-colored, these animated “paintings” pose questions intended to disrupt the mediating languages with which we imagine these very relationships.

Since 2000, Zurkow has exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Rotterdam Film Festival, The Seoul Media City Biennial, Ars Electronica, Creative Time, The Kitchen, The Walker Art Center, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, and Eyebeam, and other venues. She has been a NYFA Fellow, a Rockefeller New Media Fellow, and a Creative Capital grantee. Zurkow is on faculty at NYU’s Interactive Technology Program (ITP), and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by bitforms Gallery in New York. Website: