My Oort Cloud Vacation

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Untitled by tohu777 (on Flickr)

Comment posted to the above image on Flickr

In defense of Valerie, tohu777’s image fooled me too.  I thought it was an art installation out in some desert somewhere.

Even now I’m not so sure it’s not a real photograph.  But of course, what difference does it really make?

It makes a difference.  For some reason it’s just different when you find out an image is not made from what you thought it was.  But in this case, because the image is so incredibly realistic (would the real thing would be more vivid?) and also because the image has such great artistic interest, I can’t look at it without seeing something real and as relevant as the real world.  It has become real.

Good art invents itself.

What is artistic about it?  A lot of hyper-realistic 3D imagery is boring when placed in a non-technical context.  In itself, realism is a rather empty goal because reality is common.  I said similar things in a previous post, Reinventing the Real.  But this image doesn’t merely attempt to fake the photographic look, it presents something that’s interesting and thought-absorbing regardless of its graphical origins.

  • Arctic
  • another planet
  • crash-landed ship or protruding alien city tower?
  • the highly fabricated mesh around the tower makes me want to check what I’m standing on
  • the sun (or whatever) is setting and it’s going to get cold
  • what was built first? the tower or the bent superstructure around it?  Was it designed to look bent?
  • no one has been here for a thousand years (or since the last heavy snowfall)
  • such intense human activity punctuating such a vast expanse of emptiness
  • on most days the sun is the only viewer
  • I hope this wasn’t the rescue ship I’ve been waiting for
  • there’s got to be a door in there somewhere

Untitled by tohu777 (Flickr)

Not far from the first one, in Flickr-land, I stumbled on this.

Flotsam on a remote space beach?  When an asteroid cleans out its pockets, it  all ends up somewhere.  Are there hurricanes in space?

Check out tohu777’s Flickr photostream for more scenes transmitted from a distant star.

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One thought on “My Oort Cloud Vacation

  1. Nice Find !!! – – – I was hoping that the first graphic was a “real” photograph, because it is such an intriguing image.

    Though I am sure a good amount of time and work was involved to create the scene, the minimalist approach of not having a lot of other things going on is what truly makes this seem “real”. Along with it not having been overly anti-aliased.


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