Gallery: A snail's tracks create beautiful abstract artwork

Snails are slow movers, and they take quite a while to meander around and do anything of particular note. However, at the 2012 Digitalife symposium in Rome, audience members sat patiently while a rotating group of 20 snails took center stage. The snails were placed on white plexiglass, and their movements were captured in real time with an infrared camera. The result was one-of-a-kind light paintings that tracked them wandering all over the place.

This is a pretty cool way to document animal behavior, but how many of the observers got antsy soon after they realized they'd be staring at a handful of mollusks for a long stretch of time? At the end of each "performance," high resolution images were taken to keep a record of the paths taken by the snails, and that's what you'll see in the gallery below.

Artists Bernardo Vercelli and Fabio Di Salvo wanted their installation, dubbed Orienta, to reflect all of the decisions folks make on a daily basis and how they influence the routes taken throughout life. I bet these tiny participants had no idea they were involved in something quite so profound.

Via Fast Co. Design

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