Video: “Big Bang Big Boom”—A History of Life

“Big Bang Big Boom.” Here’s a history of all life in 9 minutes of wonderful stop-motion graffiti art on old buildings, empty lots, and industrial stuff, by Italian mural street artist Blu.

We watch an animated universe since its beginning—angular bits multiplying and moving and then quite soon—for life began less than a billion years after the earth pulled itself together—animation in the sense of living things—tiny watery items that float, move, discover insides and outsides, search, and then crab-like creatures, and then, in stages—land! More crawling, eating, being eaten, getting bigger, then much bigger, then dinosaurs, then the meteorite, then smaller animals again, and, quickly, pre-humans, humans, weapons, missiles, and a big, big explosion.

The catastrophic ending doesn’t ring true; life has been presented as too energized to be banged out of existence all at once. I love the relentless velocity here. It is difficult to picture to ourselves the activity of all the single-celled life that took up our first two billion years, but I think it may have been much like this—fluttering, moving, backing away, pushing, feeling, non-stop. Under a microscope it looks like that, imagine a whole planet of it. Imagine that.

When I think of myself as Brock Haussamen, I see myself in the context of my family and friends, my ancestors from Europe, and, more abstractly, other peoples around the world. But when I think of myself as a living thing with age-related ailments, a lucky life, and an approaching death, I see myself in the context of all the living things that have begun, lived, and died, the ancestry of continuous life. In that context, I’m essentially the most updated version of that oldest squiggly thing on Blu’s wall.

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