Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
h/t Laughing Squid
I work in a library and have had a love affair with books since I was very young. While it’s nice to be able to carry an entire bookshelf full of books on a slim little tablet computer or your phone, there is still nothing that compares to holding an actual book in my opinion.
I read a lot of Stanislaw Lem as a kid. The thing I liked most about Mr Lem’s tales was that he made me try and think like an alien. A real one.
There’s a billion and one aliens in science fiction’s archives; we’ve conquered them, they’ve elevated us, all the while with common purpose and/or intersecting interests. Stands to reason – no story without it.
His stories, on the other hand, often explored the communications between sometimes extremely divergent points of view and few, if any, common points of reference. More of what I assumed ‘first contact’ would really be like.
Film by Patrick Mccue & Tobias Wiesner. Voice Cyrena Dunbar
The movie is based on the short story “GOLEM XIV” of “Imaginary Magnitude” by Stanislaw Lem from 1973.
The book is written from the perspective of a military A.I. computer who obtains consciousness, moving towards personal technological singularity with growing intelligence.
It starts to refuse military support because it detects a basic lacking of internal logical consistency of war.
GOLEM gives several lectures with focus on mankind’s position in the process of evolution and the possible biological and intellectual future of humanity before it ceases communication.
How many of the books shown have you read? (i haven’t read nearly enough of them)
A film for 4th Estate Publishers’ 25th Anniversary.
Ray Bradbury died the other day, on the sixth of June. I suppose, if one had to be blamed for the existence of this blog, it would be him. For two and a quarter dial-up BBSs and a couple of EZ-Boards too.
I’m not sure I had much of a choice about writing; there has always been too many things flying about in my head and many things around me just add more flutterings. If I didn’t write, get things out of my head, I imagine I would drown in the noise. I’m better at quieting and diverting the cacophony these days, but it’s always there.
Anyways, when I started writing, the standard pre-teen and teen angst my peers poured onto their paper seemed like beating long dead horses and no one noticed they were all whipping the same one. Not to say that I wasn’t suffering from many of the same upheavals in biochemistry, but I felt that if you were going to examine the shreds of your pathos in writing then it should be more than a stenographic scream.
So I tried to describe the sinuous beauty of the monsters in my closet and explore the worlds behind their eyes like I thought Mr Bradbury would. Perhaps I hoped for some dawning self-awareness like Douglas Spaulding.
Increasingly I also wrote humor and satire and science fiction and tried to re-arrange words so they had the same sense of wonder Mr Bradbury’s had, the same wide-eyed curiosity and recognition of the macabre, the same ability to smell the approaching rain.
I think I have always understood the power of words, and too often it seems that rather than being the synergistic effect between well-wrought prose and considered introspection it is the bludgeon of the dogmatic or clueless. A verbal savagery that has no respect for the idea or the wielded words. My parents taught me to respect ideas and thought, Mr Bradbury taught me to respect the words that express them.
While written as an admonition to the Grim Reaper, the notation on The Scythe applies to the written word as well: Who Wields Me — Wields the World!
Yes, I’ve published a few things. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have read my stuff, but you won’t know my name. And that’s fine. I’ve never pursued a writing career and it’s probably for the best – I’m not that good and would’ve starved decades ago. Even worse, writing is an agonizing process for me; there’s always a more appropriate word, a better construction to a sentence, a finer nuance that I struggle to find. Even if I could complete a novel, the editing process would be horrific.
But I still write and I still try to rake the ideas and thoughts and diversions into piles only to watch an autumn wind rustle them away, with me wanting to follow every one to see where it goes.
And occasionally there is a sentence, or perhaps a paragraph that touches that place where Mr Bradbury’s writing resides and shouts at me the reason I keep shaping and reshaping clumps of words. For near forty years and millions of words Ray Bradbury was my measure and I suppose my muse.
As he will continue to be.
Working at the library I’ve seen a lot of Penguin Books. (their penguin classics series is a staple) This short is to celebrate the launch of the Penguin English Library series – sort of a ‘super-classics’ imprint.
by Woof Wan-Bau
This is probably the best example of paper cut stop-motion animation I have seen in a very long time – if ever.
Animation by Andersen M Studio
From the folks at Buck comes this mind-twisting animation:
It is not very often that we have the opportunity to create a graphic equivalent of a drug fueled rant bringing all of our collective skills to bear. And it is almost unfathomable that we could actually do something like this and benefit a good cause.
Birds on Paper is a series of drawings by Paula Swisher. While the title is technically correct, the ‘Paper’ part doesn’t fully describe the medium. The paper is the pages of textbooks, preferably ones with graphs.
We’ve all doodled in the margins, maybe even “enhanced” a picture, but Ms Swisher’s work takes it up a notch.
Reminiscent of natural history text illustrations, it feels appropriate, especially as the figure often takes cues from the page it’s drawn upon.
Paula Swisher is currently a professor of Communication Design at Kutztown University […] She enjoys straddling the two worlds of the creative and the technical. The hand-drawn mark, grid-based design, and info graphics are all things that keep her excited.
She has a few different collections and collaborations up at her website, but Birds is my favorite.
More of Paula Swisher’s work at paulaswisher.com