Atlas in Bubble Wrap

Duration: 2’56” (with sound)



The National Archeological Museum in Naples holds the Farnese Collection, with the marble sculpture ‘The Farnese Atlas’, amongst others. A 3D scan of that sculpture was used in this 3D animation.

In the Greek myth the god Atlas is condemned to eternally carrying the celestial globe. An extremely heavy burden and responsibility rest on his shoulders.

In contrast to the heavy Farnese marble sculpture, this Atlas is made out of bubble wrap. He carries the earth, but for an unknown reason the weight of the globe changes from heavy to light. Atlas the Carrier is crushed by the weight of the globe one moment, the next he has difficulty keeping the globe on him.

The background, a vertical page from a student atlas covered with bubble plastic, is connected to the event. Hands accompany Atlas’ movements and make more or less bubble wrap pop where the pressure for Atlas is high.

Children make bubble wrap pop for fun, adult hands make matter pop as if it were a children’s game. Bubble wrap is a protective material, but without the soft air that fills it, it is nothing: a thin, useless layer.




Other works linked to the same theme: heavy/light

The Weight of Air

The Digital Age