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.
Film and Animation (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Akinkugbe, Durotimi A., "Artifact" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus