Experimental praying mantis from the Vimeo Fest

Experimental video is a term that can be taken quite loosely; you can fiddle around with your webcam and preloaded editing software, and voila, you’re being experimental! But the French boys who make up the team known as Cokau take things to the next level with PRIE DIEU, the short that took home the prize for Best Experimental Video at the Vimeo Festival + Awards 2012. With just a praying mantis as its subject, the piece plays with light, editing and especially sound in such a novel way, it feels like a healthy update to your fave music video from the Nine Inch Nails.

Prie Dieu from Cokau on Vimeo.

The competing finalists included:

GOLDEN AGE — SOMEWHERE by Paul Nicholls, with its hypnotic cityscapes and explosive prisms of color that envelop the user in a futuristic 3D digital environment… it all gives a sense of where technology might be going, and how we should get ready.

PHASEONE — SUGAR by Vadim Gershman and Ryan Powell hits the nail on the head of modern-day communication, which sounds like a pretty major claim. And it is. The simplicity of this black-and-white piece — a succession of titles recounting a text message conversation between two exes, set to sped-up images of traffic and a slow, melancholic techno-jam — is arresting, to say the least.

MOMENTS (2007-2010) by Ian Gamester is a trippy, lingering photo-montage of moments, a collection of shots from the same time and place, from across the globe over a number of years.