Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

the impossible & infinite encyclopedia of the world created by Schuiten & Peeters

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Quarxs is the name of a large group of living organisms that cannot be perceived by the usual means of observation. Discovered by Professor Benayoun, they are apparently numerous in the universe of the Cities, and they may have slipped into ours 1).

The Quarxs featured in a series of twelve computer animated films of three minutes each. Each one presents itself as a program of popularized science: the narrator, a scientist (a researcher in “comparative cryptobiology”), takes us through the evolution of his research about the Quarxs.

The Quarxs are living creatures indifferent to the immutable laws of Nature. They have evolved into highly unusual forms because of their unique relationship with time, space and matter. To find out the true nature behind the Quarxs' behaviour, a close study involving observation and experiments has been devised. In order to visibly capture such phenomena, a visual medium has especially been adapted: a mixture of video, 2D, and 3D computer graphics.

In parodying popular science programs, this series constitutes a new frontier in 3D computer graphics animation, serving as a true screenplay and not merely as a demonstration using computer graphics. Broadcast in France on Canal + and France 3 (private and public French channels), the Quarxs have also proliferated many other countries all over the World, attending international competitions, winning several prizes and awards.

This serie is created and realized by Maurice Benayoun. The Quarxs have been developed in collaboration with François Schuiten, one of the great masters in the comic book genre; famous for his collaboration in many films as well as his architectural creative skills. The concept and 3D computer graphics animation for the Quarxs were done by Z-A Production Paris 2).

During her investigation in Brüsel after the strange events, Mary von Rathen gets a report from the Head Inspector about the Quarxs 3).

Elasto-Fragmentoplast (Male) Spatio-Striata

Faithful to the teachings of the great Masters, Claude Bernard and Tex Avery, I have been studying these animal species for many years. Their existence and origins have escaped my predecessors, as well as other long sighted observers.

This rigorous work has led me to discover a surprising variety of species, which defy established physical, biological, and optic laws: the Quarxs. I think it is time to expose my discovery of such enigmas to a public keen on scientific phenomena, but short on time…


Known types

Quarxs Description
Amperophile Attracted to electrical current
Carno-Lampire A creature mentionned, but not described
Elasto-fragmentoplast Breaks small objects
Electricia Causes electrical incidents
Mille-Folio Between the animate and the inanimate
Mnemochrome Copies artworks
Paleoquarxs Presumably a range of primitive Quarxs
Partio Scopa Dextra Visible only from the right side
Polymorpho Proximens Takes the shape of nearby objects
Reverso Chrono-Cycli Reverses the flow of time
Spatio-striata Exists only in some sections of space
Spiro-thermophage Absorbs the heat in plumbing systems
Voltophage Eats electrical current



The 12 episodes of Quarxs in English.

See also