The Shrine

Elegantly esoteric in appearance, Schockmel’s animation emerges like a biblical landscape whereupon technology has convinced us of a vision of utopia. The Shrine, which is part of the What If You Created Artificial Life And it Started Worshipping You series, with its emotive soundtrack and idyllic natural rhythms appears to pay homage to the tranquility of an alternative dreamlike setting, in which the animated wildlife, the rippling turn of translucent water - unsettled by a rolling waterfall, the Japanese styled carpeted islands and protruding rocks - are all backdrop to a series of illuminated lanterns that twist and turn on their elevated axis, like alien figures looking to mate. Resembling something of John Wyndham’s mobile triffid plants, the more intriguing these elongated nuclei appear as they hover over the serene landscape, the more encompassing their appeal. Schockmel’s earth coloured palette and the depth with which he manages to extend the landscape out across the screen, makes for a remarkable piece of storytelling in which the constructed world becomes entirely plausible by the time it arrives at its closing sequence.

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