10.10.16-Presentations and Such-The World

10.10.16-Presentations and such. This morning all of our groups got together to present and discuss ideas. It was so great to see the array of original, bizarre and slightly mind boggling ideas (for those of us who know diddly squat about physics…help they’re talking about dark matter*, back away slowly). Note to self. Learn Physics stuff. It’s useful. 

From organs in jars, to glittering waterfalls of glass and sand, the ideas were all brilliant in their own way. My own team had spoken the night before, and had decided to try to incorporate a little bit of everyones ideas into one giant big bonanza of a world. Glenn did a great job in drawing up his version of all of our ideas combined, in the form of a Tiki God-esque puppet who rules over an island/world in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. I’ll let him describe the idea:

This island can’t be located on the map; the only way to get here is being lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Once shipwrecked and on the island, the humans will discover a giant Tiki God. This Tiki God is a strong powerful being that rules over the island and anyone who doesn’t obey him will be killed. The Tiki God makes the people collect food and other resources for him. He also doesn’t let anyone leave the island. On the island once humans die from either starvation, natural causes or else are murdered by the Tiki God, they are reincarnated as magpies. The magpies still work for the Tiki God as he is such a powerful being, they do this by flying away and collecting shiny and expensive things for him. Also the Tiki God is actually just a giant puppet constructed by a highly intelligent yet evil Octopus, who controls the puppet from underground.

-Glenn’s Blog

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Glenn’s Tiki God Sketch

At this stage, I think that we have the beginnings of something really great, but after feedback, and seeing as it was all brought together in one night…it just needs a little refining.

Conánn, our tutor, had some feedback after the presentations which made me think more about this. Although we have the central feature of our world thought up, we haven’t really thought much about his presence as a God, or how that could affect the people who get stranded there. What is our evil creature’s motivation to do what he does? We also hadn’t considered any sense of time or space, which, considering we are dealing with the Bermuda triangle, we could have a whole pile of fun with. I decided to do some research on the science behind the Bermuda Triangle, as well as some of the ancient history behind Tiki Gods and Totem symbology, to try and get a better picture.

The Four Major Tiki Gods
Hawaiian Forces of Nature Personified
Ku – Ancient Tiki God of War                                                                                                                          
Rituals included human sacrifice, which was not part of the worship of the other gods.
Lono – Ancient Tiki God of Fertility and Peace
In Hawaiian mythology, Lono is a fertility and music god who descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. In agricultural and planting traditions, Lono was identified with rain and food plants. Lono was also the god of peace. 
Kane– Ancient Tiki God of Light and Life
He created the sky, earth and upper heaven. He owned a tiny seashell that, when placed on the ocean’s waves, turned into a huge sailboat. The user of the boat had merely to state his destination and the boat took him there. In agricultural and planting traditions, Kane was identified with the sun.
Kanaloa – Ancient Tiki God of the Sea
In the traditions of Ancient Hawaii, Kanaloa is symbolized by the squid, and is typically associated with Kane in legends and chants where they are portrayed as complementary powers. Interpretations of Kanaloa as a god of evil opposing the good Kane is likely the result of European missionary efforts to recast the four major divinities of Hawaii in the image of the Christian Trinity plus Satan.

-Mythichawaii.com. (2016). hawaiian tiki gods history. [online] Available at: http://www.mythichawaii.com/tiki-gods.htm [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].

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Google Image Result-Four Main Tiki Gods

From this research I had the idea that perhaps our island could be divided between four arguing Gods, each with their own portion of land. A totem or puppet of each God would preside over an area, while trying to expand it and take over the other Gods. Maybe some could work together, against the evil one? It seems too good to be true that by fate we made our evil puppet master an octopus, when in Hawaiian myth, the god of evil ‘Kanaloa’ is depicted as a squid!

 

TOTEMS

A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides.

Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.

Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.

Legendsofamerica.com. (2016). Native American Totems and Their Meanings. [online] Available at: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems.html [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].

Pinterest. (2016). Pinterest. [online] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=totem%20poles&rs=typed&term_meta%5B%5D=totem%7Ctyped&term_meta%5B%5D=poles%7Ctyped [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].

I love the idea of having totem animals come to life and look over the world as protectors. In fact, they could work just like the knight gargoyles in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’-living quietly until asked upon. (1.46-2.28)

YouTube. (2016). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (Protecting Hogwarts Scene – HD). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9I5tlU4Kuo [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].

Some interesting facts about the Bermuda Triangle:

  • ‘Bermuda Triangle is a strange triangular area on the Atlantic ocean where many ships sailing through it or planes flying over it have apparently disappeared without a trace. In few of such cases where wrecks could be found, the crew had vanished. And such incidents have been happening since centuries. More than 1,000 ships and planes have disappeared in the triangle area over the past five centuries.’
  • ‘People have experienced electronic fog in bermuda triangle, which can be a Time Travel Tunnel too. Pilot Bruce Gernon claims he lost 28 minutes after flying through a time-warping cloud tunnel. The plane went missing from radars, only to re-emerge in Miami Beach.’
  • ‘The first person to report about Bermuda Triangle was Christopher Columbus. He wrote in his journals that inside the triangle, the ship’s compass stopped working and he also saw a fireball in the sky.’
  • One theory is that pockets of methane gas are trapped beneath the ocean. When unleashed, bubbles of gas float to the surface and reduce water density, causing boats to sink.

printableworksheets-me_bermuda-triangle-map

I also began to consider things that we as humans cannot perceive (an unknown unknown I believe?). This got me to thinking about a brilliant series of books that I recently read called “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson. It would by nye-impossible to explain the plot of these books in a concise statement, but I can say for fact that they are the best books I have ever read. I highly recommend. Earth as we know it has been completely altered within Sanderson’s new world, to us it is unknown territory. Flowers no longer bloom, crops struggle to grow, and mist and ash fill the sky. All the work of an evil force, ‘Ruin‘-embodied in what the characters call ‘The Deepness’; a swirling, pulsating mass of black oblivion (unknown, known). You may wonder why I bring this up. I bring it up because with each action, Sanderson created consequence, a Yin and Yang of sorts. The flowers no longer bloom to give more energy to the struggling plants for survival, the ashen sky restricts their growth, while also being their protector from the too close burning sun. For each push, there is a pull. Something about this made his work so palpable, so true, because it is understandable to human logic-yet he simultaneously has created a world of complete and utter fantasy, with the most bizarre and complex plot imaginable. If I aspire to anything, it would be to create something as bizarre, yet logical as Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Mistborn’.

So after all of this, where are we now? Well, I definitely want to give our world a little bit of logic, and a little bit of social and scientific background. I am also thinking about somehow incorporating a squid ink kind of mass, possibly holding the world aloft/interacting with it’s characters. Lets see where it goes!

*black matter- Unseen matter that may make up more than ninety percent of the universe. As the name implies, dark matter does not interact with light or other electromagnetic radiation, so it cannot be seen directly, but it can be detected by measuring its gravitational effects.

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Inspiration-The Scarecrow

While doing some research for our world, I came across this lovely little animation called ‘The Scarecrow‘. It is the companion film for Chipotle’s new app-based game.

YouTube. (2016). The Scarecrow – YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUtnas5ScSE [Accessed 7 Oct. 2016].

I would try to explain the story, but the website does such a good job. This is how they describe it:

‘In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.’

There are so many reasons that I have fallen in love with this piece. In terms of story, it provides a look into a scarily realistic world (minus the living scarecrows), and shows us what to expect if we continue as we do. It’s great that a new game is promoting greener thoughts and expressing them in such a lovely way. Who couldn’t love the little scarecrow character!? In terms of aesthetic, it is simply beautiful. The colours and textures are rich and earthy, and there is a lovely comparison between the natural and unnatural. The movement and expression of characters is smooth and thought provoking-something that is aided by the soundtrack, which syncs perfectly to the changing mood and tone of the piece. I love how the character and the camera move through various layers of the city, moving both horizontally and vertically, giving the illusion of space. The whole effect reminds me of the film ‘Robots’, created by Blue Sky Studios for 20th Century Fox and released in 2005-another visually brilliant work.

04.10.16-Groups and Ideas

04.10.16- Today we were given our first brief of the year- ‘Build A World’. This brief is both exciting and terrifying due to its massive range of possibilities and interpretations. Seemingly, the easiest thing to do is to start off with a the simple definition- ‘What is a world?’ …good luck finding a concise answer to that one. A world can vary to almost anything, from a new planet to a civilisation to an ecosystem. To me, a world is the perceivable home of whatever inhabits it…yeah…that’s what I’ll go for.

We were assigned to our first groups on Tuesday afternoon, and were informed that our groups would be changing every week. Although daunting, in a class full of new people to meet and get to know, I think that group work is a great way to break the ice, and am excited to see how it goes! I am currently in a group with Caitlin, Glenn and Leon. As it is only the first week, we have been thinking up and combining all of our ideas for our little imaginary world. Got to start somewhere!

Focusing on the idea of a world being a home, we began to think about the various shapes, sizes, climates and timelines that our world could have. So, 76,542,999 ideas later, after doing group brainstorms and searching through the internet for some good inspiration, we set the task for each of us to complete five concept sketches of our favourite ideas for Sunday.

dsc_0323At this stage it seemed that all of the groups are coming up with very similar ideas, so we were trying to push ourselves to make it as original as possible-resulting in ideas such as:

‘World inside a Burrito’ -(No I still haven’t been to Boojum. Sorry.) Pretty self explanatory.

‘Contact Lens World’– In which all is dark until the sky(foil) is peeled away. The world is filled with light, and a giant eyeball appears in the sky, which the inhabitants name God. Natural Disasters include tsunamis of salty saline’ every night.

‘Bermuda Triangle’– Either a space version, or a new world forming under the surface of the ocean, formed of all the things that go missing in the area. Possibility of a giant octopus/squid monster with a thirst for collectables, with minions to do his work. Or possibly powering himself and his new planet from parts he steals. Inspired by our original idea of ‘space rubbish’, we looked at loads of dystopian looking artwork, including some animation from films such as ‘Elysium’ and ‘Mad Max’.

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Planet made of ship and plane parts
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Sea Creatures
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Ooh la la
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Giant Mechanical Creature built by tiny harmless one to scare predators away…could be the exterior of the planet?

‘Magpie’s Hoard’– Similar to the Bermuda idea…The accumulation of shiny and expensive things stolen by Magpies, all held within a planet of ruins. They bargain with space pirates for resources to keep their way of life and their planet alive. Could be surrounded my floating rocks and rookeries covered in plants and trees.

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NOTE TO SELF-BUY BETTER SKETCHBOOKS.

‘Line of Sight World’– A world where things only exist within each inhabitants own line of sight. As the person looks away, what used to be there disappears and reforms into something new.

‘Tunnels/Caves within the cross section of…’ – Looking into the microscopic world, we thought about creating worlds within cross sections of trees, bacterial cells, the brain, shells etc. We could create a cave world, lit by fireflies in jars, with caverns of water and endless twists and turns. Homes could hang from the ceiling in a bee hive fashion? The creatures could have huge eyes, adapted to living in the dark, with flexible bodies for shrinking though tunnels and cracks…possibly adaptable to underwater life as they have to pass through water?

bacter
Bacteria and Mould Growing in Petri Dishes-Beautiful Patterns and Shapes
shelll
Shell Cross-section
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Bacterial Cells-WITH FACES

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‘World on a Balance’– A world split into two parts, each on different ends of a set of old scales. Both must be kept in peace and balance, with people travelling equally, or else the scales will unsettle and destruction will ensue.

goblin_town

Goblin Town from Peter Jackson’s: The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey. (2012). [film].

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Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker -Illuminated paper-cut light boxes.

I love working with light, and loved the way it was used in the Goblin Town from the Hobbit: An unexpected Journey. This natural ambient light, along with the cavernous setting, would be perfect to incorporate into the Magpie and Tunnel ideas! Hari and Deepti’s paper cut dioramas have amazed and inspired me for a long time. When confronted with the theme, we all panicked at the thought of creating and imagining an original new world. However with the inspiration of culture, legend and myth, this paper cutting couple seems to come up with a brand new world in each of their works with ease! I love the harsh shapes paired with soft light.

 

 

04.10.16-Notetaking Genius

04.10.16 – Time to break in the shiny new notebooks! We began the year by learning a few good sketchbook/notebook techniques and guidelines to keep our work in order throughout the coming months. We looked at ‘BulletJournalling’ in particular. I will definitely be taking on elements of this in my own sketchbooks, but at the moment still prefer to keep my main bulk of notes and sketches in separate places.

Bullet Journal. (2016). Bullet Journal. [online] Available at: http://bulletjournal.com [Accessed 6 Oct. 2016].

I really loved seeing the way Jason Fried uses a mixture of visuals, typography and hierarchy to take his notes  in a more stimulating way. He says that he uses a ‘popcorn note taking’ method, in which he takes small memorable sections of what the person is saying, and notes them down to jog his memory, as opposed to copying down everything. He also has book out which I am very excited to learn more about, called ‘Rework’.

rework

Fried, J. and Hansson, D. (2010). Rework. New York: Crown Business.

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