Snaking (1992)

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with Pierre Joseph

Snaking was made at the time of the Gulf War, when footage of American soldiers crawling in the desert was constantly shown on CNN. During a trip to New York at this time, the artist was struck by the number of people jogging or rollerblading in Central Park wearing protection helmets equipped with mirrors allowing 360˚ vision and bright, colour-coordinated jumpsuits. In response, Parreno and Joseph decided to invent a new ‘extreme sport’ called ‘snaking’. Snaking entails crawling on the ground, commando-style, wearing a neoprene suit wrapped around your legs. The film is a parody of commercial advertising for sporting gear, telling the viewer: ‘If you are tired of trekking, rafting, blading, jogging, try SNAKING!’ The stammering announcer struggles to deliver the slogan as snakers battle the terrain, dragging themselves along to music by Snakefinger, the guitarist from The Residents. Though it should only last 30 seconds, the commercial lasts three minutes. The film stutters.


Black and white, sound