John Hutchinson tweeted a link to his new paper. Wow. Fantastically illustrated, intensively interesting. Written so precisely and clearly that I even imagine I understand what it’s about. Must read science!
Call me crazy, but I like Berlin. And one of the – okay, Heribert, you can stop calling me crazy now – and one of the things I most like about it is the diversity of museums and zoos. Seriously, there are museums everywhere, from bauhaus to Islamic Art to computer games and all sorts of history – and two zoos. There’s also a sort of fierceness about the role which culture plays in lending a city identity. So when I encountered this call for a new Berliner souvenir I had to play out the idea of creating something that pays this aspect of Berlin some respect. If we’re to feed into the consumer-craze of tourist tokenism, I’d rather take it up as an opportunity to point to this unique Berlin offering. Souvenir doesn’t mean character, but it includes character…
My take is a Giraffatitan in toon form called Boomboom. He loves Islamic patterns, Nefertiti’s nose and – while he appreciates an evening of fine opera – his acoustical culture of choice is dubstep … wouldn’t that be great to animate!?
There would be a realistic Giraffatitan outdoor life reconstruction in scale 1to1 at the Park at Nordbahnhof, adding a physical attraction between the Mauer Museum and the Museum of Natural History and tie-ins to the graphic character for printed beer krugs and back packs, stuffed figures, the whole 9 yards… and a percentage of profits going to the cultural institutes of the city.
I’m really interested in feedback, particularly from anyone familiar with Berlin. I’m not sure if I’ll enter, as this would need a good deal of work to make it presentation-ready and I don’t think this really has a chance. The souvenir competition is all designy… and I don’t read the call as the beBerlin folk looking for cultural plugs. It could propagate some awareness for what I consider to be Berlin’s true stars, though. And my only other idea for a fitting Berlin character is a cute little devil character that barfs when you squeeze him.
Modo has become my software of choice for pretty much everything but animating. With the new ACS kit from Lukazs Pazera this might be changing. Here’s a 3-day test run, from rigging and weighting through to animating. The curves are ugly – still have to get my brain around modo’s system there, but the kit makes the whole process amazingly smooth. Never would be able to do this so quickly without it.
$306 close, namely… that’s 300 people with 10 bucks and change.
So close, that it’s GOT to get to the finish line – but there’s only 10 days left. And this is coming from someone who has a vested interest in having his t-shirt remain a rarity. This is coming from someone absolutely strapped for cash and still willing to match at least one person’s 10 bucks. Any takers?
All Yesterdays is gaining momentum. As I’ve written in my review, I think this is a great thing and highly recommend the book, in whatever form you choose to buy it. I love the independent Geist in publishing. Kudos to the whole team. I love the science/art tag team to present a truly rounded argument for more speculative life and behavioral reconstructions. I also think the call is much-needed and spot on. As a book.
As a book it is a landmark argument to reassess our presumptions about soft tissues, biomechanics and behavior. It calls into view how much we don’t know about dinosaurs and – in relation to these unknowns – how plausible speculation can be. How important. As a book, I find All Yesterdays timely, important and well done.
As a movement, All Yesterdays is problematic.
A semantic issue is that the character of a movement implies that this something new rather than a corrective effect of the existing processes. A look at the artists who’ve managed to establish themselves shows that this isn’t the case. Good, speculative work comes from good artists involved in a scientific discussion in some form. Most have direct and involved exchanges with the scientists themselves. As in the book, this is a key factor.
The major issue is the question of where speculation stops and sensationalism begins. This is partly an issue of audience. I may take issue with something like spelunking sauropods, but it’s a quality image done with scientific consultation. I personally climb out of my mental participation, but it thematicizes the gargantuan mineral demands that a Diamantinasaurus would have had, and offers plenty of solid artistic skills. Successful,if only for the discussion. What I see as problematic however is the reference to Yesterdays as a sort of movement, as that shifts the focus dangerously close to speculation for speculation’s sake, which is right next door to the sensationalism practiced – among others – by television ‘documentaries’ out to make a good cut among the viewing public. The same sensationalism rightly abhorred by the palaeoart community. I know media producers who defend such formats as audience-oriented science with a healthy portion of speculation. Go figure.
So… here’s my take on the yesterdays phenomena. Yo.
It starts off with…
I’m considering an alternative ending in which the Therizinosaur claws its way out of the huge sauropod’s gut… which would explain those claws. Know waht I’m sayin’?
This has got to be the most bad-ass worm I’ve ever seen. Here a bobbit worm lies in wait, ambushing a scorpion fish that had been attracted to the filmer’s lights. The bobbit worm deserves a monster-movie all its own. Get a better look at this bad-ass invertebrate over at the Echinoblog.
I love software that arises from the desire to interact with the phenomena we encounter in nature. HaloSim allows you to playfully encounter halos, or light that is refracted through ice crystals in the atmosphere. And in the rare case that earthenly halos aren’t enough for you, you can create “octahedral ammonia crystals as might exist in the cold high level clouds of Jupiter and Saturn. The 42° circular halo has four associated sundogs.” Got that? Halos and sundogs. What are you waiting for!?
(image from here)
If your see facebook and google accounts are anything like mine, this has become the dominating color. If not, know that its the color of green screens used to mask out elements of footage, making it disappear from the final film – and now the color of protest against the Oscar event’s screening out even the mention of very needed and timely critique. The artists who make vfx films what they are, are themselves being all too often cut out of the picture. And finally, the situation has seems to have reached a breaking point.
Ars has a great article about story-telling, or rather… an intriguing article that makes me wish I’d been there to here the real beef in person. Not only Fiona Romeo sounds toally inspired, but Michael Please, maker of the Eagleman Stag.
heteromeles has an interesting take on the long neck morphology of Elasmosaurus. I think it’s a cool example of speculative sketching and note that the figures are sketched out (not so sure how I’d react to carefully worked out, detailed illustrations of the idea). I like the way he proposes the idea, lays out argumentation and clearly states what stage of knowledge lies behind each of the arguments. A good read.