Coachella: Herakut’s Snail

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This year The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival offered so much art! There were seven never-before-seen, site specific installations (last year there were only two), including  “TRASHed: Art of Recycling”  and “Recyclosaurus Rex”presented by Global Inheritance. We’ll be bringing you images of those from Paul Koudounaris  (aka Paul K), author of Empire of Death  and the upcoming Heavenly Bodies who also shot  large snail painted by the German street art duo Herakut

Paul showed up before gates opened Sunday morning to photograph the snail for CARTWHEEL, and had a chance to talk to Akut, who mentioned that the painting had been carried out in scarcely a day’s time since the pair were en route from China; they travel the world creating street art and murals.Paul emailed us:

Herakut are a street art duo–she’s Hera, like the Greek goddess, he is Akut, German for acute. I had a chance to speak with Akut on Sunday morning before the gates opened. They had painted the snail the day before. Understand that I was at the festival on Friday, and it was not decorated at all, so they had worked very fast, but the result is nonetheless stunning, as I think the details show. The two travel around the world doing street art, and have completed projects recently as far away as China. I asked Akut where he thinks the best street art is to be found, and he immediately responded London and Berlin. When I asked him what he thinks of our own street art in Los Angeles, he was charmingly polite in his reply, but offered the opinion that it’s not so much street art as graffiti.

As for the snail itself, it moves, and it spent time driving very slowly around the field. At one point it actually ventured off and tried to drive through the audience when the Smith Westons were playing–it tried to drive through the crowd, a rather bizarre site that created quite a lot of online chatter. By serendipity, I wound up sitting next to one of the festival’s engineers at dinner, and learned quite a lot about the mechanics of the snail. He explained that it is built on a forklift. I asked whether it was actually supposed to attempt to penetrate the crowd while a band was playing, and the engineer responded that it may not have been the best idea.






all photos: Paul Koudounaris for CARTWHEEL



  1. Poetic Kinetics
    May 10, 2013

    The Snail was originated, designed and fabricated by Poetic Kinetics of Los Angeles who appreciated Herakut adding the wonderful painting to it as well as the film crew who filmed it. The time-lapse video will be available at the Coachella site soon!

  2. Lisa Derrick
    May 12, 2013

    Thanks so much for the info and for reading us!


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