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SLURB by Marina Zurkow

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

Marina Zurkow, Slurb, 2009. Video (color, sound), media player, screen or projector. Dimensions variable, landscape orientation. 17 min 42 sec, loop. Edition of 5, 2 AP. Music by Lem Jay Ignacio. Courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery, nyc.

The animated, carnival-esque 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 French caricaturist 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.


Streaming Museum has presented Slurb in the exhibition series at Digital Art @Google, We Write This To You From The Distant Future in 2010, and in international public space locations in Streaming Museum's network. In 2015 and 2017 it was exhibited in A View From The Cloud at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza - "the Gateway to the United Nations" and the UN Church Center. Slurb is featured in the UN 75th anniversary issue of Centerpoint Now, "Are we there yet?", the publication of World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, co-produced with Streaming Museum.


MARINA ZURKOW b.1962, New York, NY

Lives and works in New York, NY

Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections. She uses life science, materials, and technologies – including food, software, animation, clay and other biomaterials – to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents.

Recent solo exhibitions of her work include bitforms gallery in New York; Chronus Art Center, Shanghai; the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; Diverseworks, Houston; her work has also been featured at FACT, Liverpool; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Wave Hill, New York; National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Borusan Collection, Istanbul; 01SJ Biennial, San Jose; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Creative Time, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Transmediale, Berlin; Eyebeam, New York; Sundance Film Festival, Utah; Rotterdam Film Festival, The Netherlands; and the Seoul Media City Biennial, Korea, among others.

Her public art engagements have been supported by Creative Time, New York; LACE, Los Angeles; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; The New Museum’s Ideas City, New York; Northern, Minneapolis; The Artist’s Institute, New York; 01SJ Biennial, San Jose, California; Rice University, Houston; Boston University; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Baruch College, New York.

Zurkow is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow. She has also been granted awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is a teaching fellow at Bennington College and a research fellow at the ITP / Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.



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