Part of the World Roulette show & book from Light Grey Art Lab. Randomly assigned prompts: High Humidity, Advanced Prosthetics, Ghosts, in the New Scientific Age.
The once beautiful and lush land was no more. The words of worst case scenarios went unheeded. Hubris has a history of repeating itself. Young Tyrell had enjoyed school before it ended. He’d taken to making terrariums to foster plants, in jars larger on the inside based upon principles of the Tardis. His mother was duly impressed. She had been a pioneering roboticist and she was ready. Together they fashioned a means of traversing the cataclysm.
The roads of their neighborhood fissured with steam followed by fire. The asphalt bulged then cracked open into underground caverns. Mother and son had finished in the knick of time. They climbed inside and pulled the cork into place. With a creaking of gears and gliding of pistons the mechanical legs lifted them off the inhospitable ground. They wouldn’t give up so easily. “Time for the new age,” said Tyrell as they advanced. But their confrontations had only begun. Below them hands of bone clawed like spiders. Uncoupled souls arose, unwilling to be denied what they had in life taken for granted, peered through the glass with envy…
Oil & digital, 12.5x17.5"
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
While in high school I read Invisible Cities by Italian author Italo Calvino. The fictional account of Marco Polo recounting his marvelous travels to Kublai Kahn. During my senior year of art school I lived in Rome. While touring Italy, I saw what inspired Calvino first hand; walking through cities on water, towns carved in mountains, cities beneath ash, and ancient cities framed by frenetic modern life.
Humanity’s legacy is to ever-increasingly shape the world in our image, which since the Industrial Revolution, has been detrimental. The callous path of climate change is painfully clear.
With world-building, cities and landscapes can encapsulate our personal concerns as well as our optimistic outlooks. Creativity grants artists and storytellers access to build upon the foundation of hopes, fears, and aspirations without restraint, and therefore with unbridled honesty. As Calvino conveyed in his insightful parables; cities are brick and stone self portraits. We can manifest our imaginations so that one day, inspired minds will allow us to live sustainably in the architecture of our dreams.