Artifact is a 3D animated short film following the journey of a mysterious metal, altered by time and human interaction across several millennia. The titular artifact first arrives on a barren prehistoric Earth as the remains of a meteorite impact, a rock glistening with metallic ore. The epoch passes as the natural world comes to life, vegetation growing at the site of the crater. The ore-rock, having remained untouched all these years, is finally found by an early human. It is attached to a stick, forming a primitive hammer. After some use, the hammer breaks, and the ore is smelted, then cast into the form of a religious worship effigy. Over time, the religion wanes, the now-aged effigy being used as a bludgeoning weapon during a conflict. The bloody effigy is lost to history as grass grows around its forgotten location. Eventually rediscovered by imperialists, the effigy is used as scrap metal to form a cannonball. The cannonball is fired, crashing through the walls of a far off kingdom, kicking up dust. As the dust clears, the cannonball is now a tool of subjugation, a prison ball and chain. The ball is shattered, and as the pieces fall, they reassemble on a piece of wood as the teeth of an afro comb. The comb relocates to the back of a bare room, landing atop a dresser. The room fills with household items as time passes and a life is lived, then in an instant, the comb is now a museum exhibit. A powerful explosion occurs, and the comb is thrown from its stand. The wood breaks away and the metal melts together to form a small misshapen lump. The metal ball lands in a field, a destroyed cityscape in silhouette, as we see rockets fly up through the atmosphere.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer animation--Themes, motives; Computer animation--Technique; Material culture in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CAD)


Thomas Gasek

Advisor/Committee Member

Kevin Bauer

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Reisch


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes