Patrick Jean

Sometimes you just need a Google Maps monster to fully convey the state of auto-dependency in America.

It's hard to know where to begin in introducing this short film, which turned up on Vimeo a few days ago from graphic designer and animator Patrick Jean (also behind the widely circulated 2010 short "Pixels"). "Motorville," as this new animation is titled, tells the story of the American city's addiction to oil in under three minutes, with a mashup of OpenStreetMap* monsters, foreign conquest and spilled oil (for the full effect, we highly recommend turning on the sound, from David Kamp).

Jean introduces the video this way on his own website: "It was actually a very complex and painstaking production, mixing coding, animation, sound, some 3D, and love for unhappy endings."

As he told the website 1.4, the short was originally commissioned by an American TV channel, although they opted not to air it after seeing the finished product. Wonder what that says about the audience for commentary like this?


Motorville by Patrick Jean from Iconoclast on Vimeo.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the video was produced using Google Maps data, rather than OpenStreetMap.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.

  4. Maps

    Mapping the Growing Gap Between Job Seekers and Employers

    Mapping job openings with available employees in major U.S. cities reveals a striking spatial mismatch, according to a new Urban Institute report.

  5. Protestors hold a sign that reads "Respect Democracy Our Vote Matters"
    Equity

    The Conservative Backlash Against Progressive Ballot Measures

    In many states, ballot initiatives on expanding Medicaid, limiting gerrymandering, and raising the minimum wage swept to victory in November. Now lawmakers are doing their best to reverse them.