Speedster-snail saga - March 2023

A work by Dominique Peysson

Idea and design of the mechanism Dominique Peysson

Engineering Christian Laroche and Dominique Peysson

Designed by Dominique Peysson and Christian Laroche

Speedster-snail (or snail-bolide in French) is a small vehicle powered only by the snail itself, like a bicycle. The ribbon on which he is standing allows him to turn the wheels of the racing car and thus move at a much higher speed than what his mode of locomotion usually allows him: about 100 times faster than his usual speed.

The "Speedster-snail saga" project does not promote speed and increase, on the contrary. It treats with lightness questions which nevertheless remain major subjects, such as the continual incentive to performance, the cult of rivalry, the increase of the living. It poses in an offbeat way the question of communication between species and the ever-stronger relationships that we are developing between living organisms and technology.


I "increase" small animals, but always respecting them. To offer them an extension of their fields of experience, without rushing them. However, this work has a critical component. On the anthropocentric conception that we project onto the animal kingdom, for example. I generate a whole little paired world, which poses in an offbeat way the question of communication between species and the ever-stronger relationships that we are developing between living organisms and technology. We can of course see there a transposition of transhumanism. Are we going to seek endlessly to surpass the limits of the possible, or could we rather think of sharing between us and the different kingdoms of life new ways of seeing the world, with respect and understanding of others? Without necessarily trying to go faster and faster, always...


My artistic work engages a reflection and a transdisciplinary work on life and its intricacy with technical processes, on the fusions and hybridizations between the living and the technosciences. I explore imaginary forms of living-technology interaction, at different size scales: that of protocells and their gradual evolution towards living matter, or exoskeletons for insects...


What would happen if we put all our technological advances at the service of an animal, to increase the strength no longer of a man, but of another living being?
I chose to work with a species that has a particularly powerful musculature: the snail of our gardens. The squirrel. How to increase it to allow it to surpass itself?


The speedster-snails required a long work of development, from the first prototype in lego, to the latest version of the snails-mobiles...


Some excerpts from the first outings of our speedster-snail and its drivers, Horace, Chloé, Eva, Claude...

The cars were designed in 3D



The world's first snail-mobile PERFORMANCE

The first performance of mobile snails in the world took place in February 2023 in Les Pilles, in the Drôme Provençale, at the associative café of the Pilanthropes

Piste de course2

Exhibition of Speedster-snail saga in Saint-Ex

Collective exhibition For the love of sports

From March 21 to June 10, 2023, with Pierre Larauza, Thomas Molles, Frédéric Liver, //////////fur//// (Volker Morawe and Tilman Reiff). Thanks to Clémentine Treu for this invitation to Saint-Ex and the exhibition curator.

Pièces détachées2
Piste de course
Piste de course3
Terrarium Enfants2