Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The eye of the beholder

Self-Portrait Machine

Jen Hui Liao's Self-Portrait Machine is a device that takes a picture of the sitter and draws it but with the model's help. The wrists of the individual are tied to the machine and it is his or her hands that are guided to draw the lines that will eventually form the portrait.

The project started with the observation that nearly everything that surrounds us has been created by machines. Our personal identities are represented by the products of the man-machine relationship. The Self-Portrait Machine encapsulates this man-machine relationship. By co-operating with the machine, a self-portrait is generated. It is self-drawn but from an external viewpoint through controlled movement and limited possibility. Our choice of how we are represented is limited to what the machine will allow.

(Via Grinding.)

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

"The Cosmic Puppets"

This edition of Philip K. Dick's "The Cosmic Puppets" features a bona-fide tube-girl on the cover. (I've read the novel and don't remember any tube-girls figuring into the plot, but I digress . . .)

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Any cryptographers in the house?

I don't think crop formations are created by paranormal forces. However, examples such as this serve as profound examples why crop glyphs, like all genuine works of art, wield the capacity to stir us in unexpected ways. The recent glyphic offerings from Britain deserve to be marveled at.

More information here.

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The meme that wouldn't die

I was browsing vintage science fiction art today and found myself confronted with this:

That's right -- yet another tube-girl!

And while this isn't a "true" example of tube-girl art, it's damned close. (The woman in the illustration appears to be emerging from a vat of espresso.)

Now I'm wondering if I should expand my search from "Golden Age" pulps to more contemporary genre illustration . . .

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today's sketch

Update: To view a colorized version (by friend Mike Clelland), click here.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

The art of John Wentz

John Wentz's paintings occupy a realm defined by Big Science, transhuman alienation and jaundiced pop-mythology. Cryptic and cautionary, Wentz's visions of human relationships forged by the parameters of the 21st century compel us to reconcile the zeitgeist with our inner frontiers.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random sketch of the day

This drawing probably reflects the balmy weather more than it offers any insight into my state of mind. For an almost-abandoned doodle, I kind of like how this came out.

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Friday, June 26, 2009


Some great eye-candy here. Pay attention.

Civilization by Marco Brambilla from CRUSH on Vimeo.

Incidentally, CRUSH is behind two videos from R.E.M.'s latest album.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Little green men

I'm always on the lookout for images that might have helped to popularize/disseminate the appearance of the quintessential alien (as depicted in Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and on the cover of Whitley Strieber's "Communion").

This charming cover art, dating from 1959, shows levitating humanoids not unlike the famed Hopkinsville goblins, who made their dramatic appearance just four years earlier.

Note the conspicuously Martian-looking terrain, a staple of 1950s science fiction. Somehow the notion of a desert planet, bereft of recognizably human structures, speaks to our innate sense of the "other."

Related: The Deep Politics of Hollywood: Close Encounters with the Pentagon.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The art of Christian rex Van Minnen

Christian rex Van Minnen's assemblages fuse human and fungal characteristics with disconcerting results. Terence McKenna would have liked these.

(Hat tip to Bioephemera.)

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Another "tube woman"

@capnmarrrrk brings my attention to this recurrence of the science fiction "women in tubes" meme from "Spacehawk and the Creeping Death from Neptune." I'm reminded of an MRI machine as devised by a sadistic Jules Verne.

For more vintage comics, take a look at the rest of Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009


The "women in tubes" meme is astonishingly prevalent in Golden Age genre fiction. To the best of my knowledge, this album remains the definitive resource, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover additional illustrations. The following are just a few examples I've amassed while editing this blog.

Lastly, here's a contemporary example (designed to mimic its pulp counterparts):

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Mars Attacks"

The famously violent "Mars Attacks" trading cards are reproduced in high-resolution right here. (Surely someone's thought to make posters of these!)

Card 4 brings the Thomas Mantell controversy to mind . . .

And has Richard Hoagland ever entertained the social engineering implications of card 53?

(Tip of the hat to Forgetomori.)

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Heidi Taillefer: redefining "fembots"

Thanks to Sentient Developments for introducing me to the work of Monreal-based artist Heidi Taillefer, whose paintings explore the implications of biotechnology with disquieting visions of chimeric organisms and anatomically precise representations of the human form besieged by machinery.

Like J.G. Ballard, Taillefer offers chilling yet irresistible perspectives on the tenuous barrier between "organic" and "artificial."

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oh, the angst!

This is a detail from a full-size doodle.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009


WAHHA GO GO nonsense machine (w/ video) (Pink Tentacle)

To activate the machine -- which looks like a skeletal humanoid with accordion-like lungs and a big toothy grin that takes up half its head -- simply spin the heavy metal disk mounted on its torso. WAHHA GO GO rears back its head, takes a deep breath, and exhales through artificial vocal cords to emit an uncanny laugh that invites you to laugh along with it (or at it).

Yes, we laugh -- but considering WAHHA GO GO's worryingly Gigeresque mug, perhaps out of self-defense.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Mondolithic Studios envisions futuristic nanomachines:

When Neal Stephenson sat down to wrote "The Diamond Age," I'm sure something uncannily like this image was dominating his mind's eye.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Aliens amuck!

Amuck, a local industrial jeweler, is crafting a fetching alien head for my private collection. Take a look:

For more Amuck, click here.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Abducted by space Amazons!

Semi-random pulp science fiction cover illustration of the day:

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Household pests of the apocalypse

I'm tempted to write a short-story based on the cover illustration above just to say I did it.

More far-out Spanish genre covers here.

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