Marina Zurkow: Slurb


On view: 2015.7.26-8.26

Opening reception: 2015.7.25, 5pm

Venue: Chronus Art Center

Address: BLDG.18, No.50 Moganshan RD., Shanghai

Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to present Slurb, an exhibition by the American artist Marina Zurkow.

Slurb features a large wall projection of a near 18-minute animation loop with soundtrack that coalesces electronic sound and human voice, in which a steady scrolling movement leftward brings to the viewer an unending view of deluged landscape. Taking the form of a visionary simulation that is ironically playful, tantalizingly sweet and surreal on the surface, the artist envisions an unnerving reality where human, animal, human and animal hybrids, as well as the debris of their surroundings come together and weave a dystopian narrative that unfurls an undercurrent of mesmerizing tensions.

Reminiscent of Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” written in 1983, the unclassifiable identities and experiences of transition in Slurb, embodied by the hybrids and things against a haunting backdrop of the buzzing and humming sound, strategically transgress the boundary between human and non-human, natural and unnatural; they announce the arrival of a new paradigm of relations along with the dissolving and upending of the established power structure.


Marina Zurkow | 2009 | single-channel HD video animation, stereo sound | 17 min. 42 sec., loop | dimensions variable | Edition of 5, 2 AP

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 the Artist

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:

About the Series

Slurb is the fourth exhibition in a series of screen-based works organized by the Chronus Art Center. Conceived by ZHANG Ga, this exhibition series examines, through seven international artists’ projection works, each presented in a month-long solo exhibition, dynamically generated audiovisual systems that artists have custom-made, real-time transmitted images which demand protocols other than those readily available, idiosyncratic animation techniques for which given rules will be rewritten, and subject matters estranged from the populist safe haven. The artists presented in this series often exploit an algorithmic logic distinct from the predominant language that speaks the parlance of video art—software presets and editing routines for visual manipulation and content authoring—thereby disrupting and sabotaging the economy and the ideology of image production implicit in the very tools and means that produce narrative and construct meaning. In doing so, they have developed a new aesthetic sensibility beyond the received notion of video art as such, extending the rich tradition of media art seen in the pioneering experiments of Walter Ruttmann and Dziga Vertov of the 1920s; by the canonical works of Michael Snow, the Vasulkas and Nam June Paik, to name just a few, of the mid-century; to the digital contemporary, and opened new potentials for tending individuated perceptual spaces that can acculturate the spectacles of cosmic magnitude and the facticity of the everyday, imagined or otherwise.

Series Artists

Michael Joaquin Grey

Wolfgang Staehle

George Legrady

Marina Zurkow

Casey Reas

Jim Campbell

AL and AL