Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Stanislaw Lem

'Lem's books have been translated into over 40 languages and sold about 27 million copies. He was probably the best single sci-fi author of the late 20th century not to write in English. Lem often wrote in comical style, but examined serious moral questions about technological progress, the limits of science, and our place in the universe.'
'Lem's early novels and stories were more or less optimistic and based on the conventions of Socialist Realism. He examined technological development, future civilizations, and responsibility of scientist.'

‘Wrote in a comical style’

‘Serious moral questions about technological processes’

I’ve decided to look at Stanislaw Lem in more detail and find out more about the kind of writer he was, examining some of his works to piece together a greater recognition of his of the style he implied on his literature. And perhaps even take an insight into his life history which influenced his style of writing.

From reading about the life of Stanislaw his existences was beyond an average standard of living in comparison to people today, he lived through a revolution, war and poverty in and around Germany whilst the totalitarian Nazi movement was present. He studied medicine in addiction to this his IQ was measured over 180 (average human = around 100) at high school, It was noticeable that he has been involved in a number of adverse changes in life and others include his careers which all reflect on his knowledge base, i.e. the physical work he underwent as mechanic, welder to a research assistant in a science institution all adding to the strength and knowledge his thoughts lied in whilst developing his imagination into words.

I find it interesting one of Lem’s’ favourite subjects include the limitations of the human understanding, including this area of thought into a fictional piece allows the authors mind to stretch beyond the boundaries of regular writers resulting in an interesting contextual quality. The novels he wrote would address political difference under the disguise of fantasy and the nature of science fiction, as the polish government would not allow criticism.

The futures he recreates from his imagination have been born out of being a superior person in society which is clearly evident from his history. Some of the key elements found in his novels depict ‘future civilizations’ something very attractive in terms of the kind of unique innovative environment I’m looking for. I’ll take on board the aspects in which have influenced Stanislaw Lem throughout his life whilst creating the adaptations of his text into the environmental concept art.

‘his fiction seems at a distance from the daily cares and passions, and conveys the sense of a mind hovering above the boundaries of the human condition: now mordant, now droll, now arcane, now folksy, now skeptical, now haunted and always paradoxical. Yet his imagination is so powerful and pure that no matter what world he creates it is immediately convincing because of its concreteness and plentitude, the intimacy and authority with which it is occupied’

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Environment aesthetic

A general premise for my project idea now exists, until I have the source material within my grasp I am unable to find the exact content for my development process to begin, the logic for the design and idea will become clearer once acknowledged, the novel Eden by Stanislaw Lem has been ordered from Amazon, just waiting now for its arrival. For the time being I can start to look at a few questions that need answering I.e. What kind of sci-fi is this planet going to convey?And what will the future of my environment encompass? Totalitarian,Utopian, Dystopian, Post apocalyptic,Retro these are some specimens I could venture towards.

From analysing the plot and gathering evidence such as some reviews of the novel it’s already been established from the research obtained the novel contains common basics of a futuristic setting, the fundamentals which play a key part in understanding what needs to be produced.

snpmurray's Full Review: Stanislaw Lem - Eden
"The story begins with the crash landing of a craft on a planet of which little is known. The occupants of the craft are referred to only by their professions…“the doctor”, “the captain”, “the cyberneticist” etc.. etc. After their crash landing, and eventually managing to extricate themselves from their space craft, they proceed to explore the planet. First on foot, and later with the aid of a jeep, and even eventually a tank, they discover that there is an advanced civilization on the planet. Unfortunately is it precisely because of this level of advancement that nothing can be fathomed of it at all."
"Their travels reveal fantastic structures…..huge animal/plants which resemble trees but move like animals, giant towers filled with glass eggs, each containing a bizarre skeleton…gigantic factories which seem to produce objects which resemble living tissue, only then to reabsorb and recycle them again."


Terrain - Jungle - Desert - Forests
A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body: - inhabited by friendly aliens - unfriendly aliens - neutral aliens - primitive aliens
Planet outside solar system? Yes

The suggestions found in the review shown here will help obtain the basics as discussed before, although from reading the criticisms the future is not specified clear enough I’ll look to mould my own from the story.

Common visions of the future

There are many interpretation of the future that plays a significant role on the aesthetics of the environment. In various films this can be found things like the shape of the structures depend on its environment, in some cases the structures are born out of the environment which is something I may look into as the description of the novel could focus primarily on this feature. It important I find the right balance in order for my environment to make sense more in depth research is needed.

An idea playing on my mind is a world that has run out of a nature resource i.e. no more oil exists on earth therefore the inhabitants have adapted to the life styles this could really bring out some innovative design visuals.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Final Minor Project Proposal

Initial concept:

The initial intention was to create an innovative advertisement/ promotion to the production of a new concept, a technology which I’d like to exploit and make the world aware by the means of producing an animation which explores a notion conveying a message about the way we consume as humans, making the audience have a sense of realisation taking on a kind of eco-friendly/green approach, this would involve extensive design the main emphasis I am looking to focus on now and the rest of my time, all adding to the future path as a cg designer. Whether it was going to be anticipated for a convention of some kind or television advertisements was not quite clear as of yet, it had been brought to my attention that this kind of project would lack in many areas then one as the idea promotes being a product designer appose to the bigger picture. On a grand scheme of things to cater for the 15 week duration on this project the objective must be more generalised therefore the role now is clear, production designer/art director.

Going back again to my transcription project the next ambition following it was to create an environment for a film rather than a game this time round. Some thought and research was done in order to find the right candidate for my source material. Some examples found include the works of William Gibson, Philip K Dick and various others the genre of their revisions fits in with my target of implementing an environment that works with the nature of being sci-fi based. Stanislaw Lem struck my attention in particular the story of Eden is my choice.

I’d like for my final animation to obtain few factors firstly a strong design base to the narrative is essential, preferably a fresh novel which hasn’t been encountered before, this will allow for my ideas to flow more independently in-turn allowing freedom for my imagination to run wide and create a new adaptation, not having to refer to existing pieces (although there are similar stories that relate to my choice perhaps the opportunity is here to produce and existences out of the ordinary). Another key factor on my agenda was in for the candidate of my choice to display a clear chance to refine my pipeline process.

The path will be to demonstrate design appose to creating a native for myself I discovered potential here for a serious animated short however I’d like to stick to the intended goal of a fully realised environment for a film with extra details.

Stanislaw Lem – Eden a 1959 science fiction novel.
Main plot:
'A starship crew composed of a captain, an engineer, a doctor, a chemist, a physicist, and a cyberneticist (robot technician), crash lands on an alien world called Eden. After escaping their wrecked ship they set out to explore the planet, first travelling through an unsettling wilderness and coming upon an abandoned automated factory. There they find a constant cycle of materials being produced and then destroyed and recycled. Perplexed, they return to their ship. At the crash site they find a local creature has entered their vessel. They name these large creatures, with small torsos retractable into their large bodies, Doublers (from "double-bodied").'
'Lem's work displays several recurring themes. The first major grouping of his fiction falls into a more traditional understanding of science fiction, with elements including speculation on technological advances, space travel and alien worlds.'