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. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  2. Coronavirus

    Why Asian Countries Have Succeeded in Flattening the Curve

    To help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 outbreak, officials at all levels of government are asking people to stay home. Here's what’s worked, and what hasn't.

  3. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  4. Equity

    Why Not Just Stop Paying Rent?

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

  5. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

×