First of all, I must apologize for the interrupted service on this blog – I have been in and out of hospital for the best part of last month, and eventually had to say goodbye to my gallbladder, so I had to skip last fortnight’s edition. I’m now well on the way to recovery, and have used the opportunity to get a big bag of DVDs out from the video store, and catch up with all the movies I have missed the last couple of years. I hadn’t even seen Inception yet, can you believe it? Well, that omission is fixed now. After all, I don’t want to hazard my credibility as a blogger on this site. 😉
Following on from my last post about grungy and glamorous city environments, for this blog post I have chosen images of traffic – from inner city to outer space. Again, many of these images were created as concepts or environments for the games industry – and some of the same artist names will crop up. This, btw, is entirely unintentional: I went for the images that stood out for me when browsing DeviantArt, but it seems the field of artists who engage in this particular genre, is rather a bit narrower than I generally find with other science fiction or fantasy topics! Something of a specialization, then.
The nightmarish traffic jam of the opening image is quickly replaced, by the next three artists, with elegant solutions for inner city public transport: the floating shuttle remains popular, but so does the tiering of inner city spaces into several levels – Hongkong style – allowing the traffic to disappear beneath a network of platforms and bridges which accommodate the oldest means of human transport, our two feet.
The vast majority of images on this topic are more or less photorealistic digital renderings, so it is quite refreshing to find a traditional media interpretation of a launchpad for flying shuttles – a mood piece, rather than an attempt at creating a realistic representation.
Next to the inner city traffic networks, industrial structures, and particularly launch pads for flying vehicles, are another popular subject for artists working in this genre. There is a fascination in the industrial, metallic structures that are half architecture, half machinery. Humans appear tiny to the point where they almost disappear, in the face of the power of technology.
Light falls through the gaps in the structures, as if we were standing in some massive techno cathedral. Vehicles take center stage, where in more traditional environments, there might be humans, fantastic creatures, or monsters providing the focus of attention.
The launchpad is the gateway to the universe. There is a certain wistful longing about those images of gateways into open space. The astronaut in his tin can stares in disbelief at what his electronic sensory organs tell him. The tail lights of a starship disappear into the galactic sunset.
All images are copyright the respective artist, and may not be reproduced without their permission.