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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

Discord: metal and meat
Stephan Larson

Discord: metal and meat is an abstracted story about conflict between forces, whether the forces are literally metal and meat, or more metaphorically perceived as man and nature. In such a conflict, one force can overwhelm another for a time, but inevitably the opposition will regroup, coalesce, and renew the fight. And in this fight, the odds are with nature.

The animation is about man and nature but it is more simply a story about lumps of meat and chunks of metal. The metal is designed to be cold, uniform, unforgiving, sterile, and immutable—a rigid framework that repeatedly attempts to exert control. The meat is envisioned as vigorous, fluid, and simultaneously both beautiful and grotesque, a force that adapts and transforms in an attempt to escape any confinement.

The irony of the “metal and meat” metaphor is that there is actually no distinction between what could be perceived as “man” and what would be considered “nature”. Both metal and meat exist in nature but are also influenced by man; metals are mineral derivatives and man is meat, after all. Where the roles become more delineated is in the structure—geometric and organic forms—the cube representing the hand of man and the more nebulous, biological, amorphous forms representing nature.

The concept of nature ultimately overwhelming man is not by any means intended to be nihilistic or to disparage the accomplishments of mankind, but rather to emphasize a force that is primordial and uncontrollable. In light of natural disasters in the last several years, the theme seems uncomfortably apropos.