Jackson Snellings

“La Mer”

"Who lives in a meth lab under the sea?"


Animals, People and Those In Between,Video Sculpture

"Le Mer" is a four channel video sculpture that abstractly and absurdly deals with the conflict between man and the natural world. The sculpture is roughly the size of a small dresser and contains an accurate model of a 1970s Winnebago motor home. Inside of the motor home is a scale model of a meth lab, outside is the sea floor, complete with an animated shark. Two of the cameras are on servos that allow the viewer to discover the scene from inside and outside the motor home. A third video channel features a camera that is looking over a miniature recreation of the shark/rv scene, imbuing the video with a sense of distance that shouldn't be possible within the sculptures dimensions. The fourth channel features a pre-rendered, looping video of the scene from an isometric view. The use of a video loop allows for the addition of animated sea life.

All of this is viewed through a small lens on the front of the sculpture, and the entire experience should be very reminiscent of a vintage mutoscope or penny arcade peep show.

I researched the behavior of sharks, and have a lifetime of observing meth addicts in my community.

My audience is anyone who appreciates objects of mystery.

User Scenario
1) The user approaches "Le Mer", and looks in to the viewing oculus.
2) The User then views the various scenes and explores the inner environments with the panning cameras.
3) Some users will leave the table having understood the bizarre world they just viewed, others will not. At no point will I define or explain the content in the box, other than to say how it was constructed.

The outer structure is MDF, with a skin comprised of wax and cloth. Internally it contains a scale model of an RV complete with tiny methlab, video cameras, servos, a video switch, vintage telephone receiver, and a 2" color television.

I have learned how humans interact with animals and I have consciously attempted to avoid anthropomorphizing or victimizing the animals within my sculpture.