473 – Borgman (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2010’s Netherlands

“and they descended upon the earth to strengthen their ranks” borgmenBorgman is a 2013 Dutch psychological thriller drama film directed by Alex van Warmerdam.

A vagrant enters the lives of an upper-class family, turning their lives into a psychological nightmare in the process. Although never stated in the film, the behavior of Borgman resembles that of an “alp“, a nightmare demon from German folklore.borgman-2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1954315/

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471 – Coraline (2009)

spacetime coordinates: 2000’s Ashland, Oregon

71HSunGPaSL._SL1189_Coraline is a 2009 American 3D stop-motion dark fantasy horror film based on Neil Gaiman‘s 2002 novel of the same name. It was the first feature film produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features. The film depicts an adventurous girl finding an idealized parallel world behind a secret door in her new home, unaware that the alternate world contains a dark and sinister secret. Written and directed by Henry Selick, the film was made with Gaiman’s approval and co-operation.

Coraline was staged in a 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) warehouse in Hillsboro, Oregon. The stage was divided into 50 lots, which played host to nearly 150 sets. Among the sets were three miniature Victorian mansions, a 42-foot (12.8 m) apple orchard, and a model of Ashland, Oregon, including tiny details such as banners for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. More than 28 animators worked at a time on rehearsing or shooting scenes, producing 90–100 seconds of finished animation each week. To add the stereoscopy for the 3D release, the animators shot each frame from two slightly apart camera positions.

coraline_ver12

Every object on screen was made for the film. The crew used three 3D printing systems from Objet in the development and production of the film. Thousands of high-quality 3D models, ranging from facial expressions to doorknobs, were printed in 3D using the Polyjet matrix systems, which enable the fast transformation of CAD (computer-aided design) drawings into high-quality 3D models. The puppets had separate parts for the upper and lower parts of the head that could be exchanged for different facial expressions. The characters of Coraline could potentially exhibit over 208,000 facial expressions. Computer artists composited separately-shot elements together, or added elements of their own which had to look handcrafted instead of computer-generated – for instance, the flames were done with traditional animation and painted digitally, and the fog was dry ice.

At its peak, the film involved the efforts of 450 people, including from 30  to 35 animators and digital designers in the Digital Design Group (DDG) directed by Dan Casey and more than 250 technicians and designers. One crew member, Althea Crome, was hired specifically to knit miniature sweaters and other clothing for the puppet characters, sometimes using knitting needles as thin as human hair. The clothes would also simulate wear using paint and a file. Several students from The Art Institute of Portland were also involved in making the film.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coraline_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327597/

http://www.coraline.com/

455

spacetime coordinates: 19th-century England, Yorkshire >  the Amazon and its tributaries > the Andes of Peru and Ecuador

Richard Spruce and the Trials of Victorian Bryology

21544745863_f0e66a587a_c21979008949_de52a1ebf9_c” Pushing against its scientific reputation as downright boring, moss in particular served to create some botanical, aesthetic sense of a setting that allowed for illicit sexual encounters and for primal yearnings. The reasons for this strange dual identity of bryophytes as both mundane and as primal are relatively clear: realistically, moss provided a soft bed for sexual romps that had to take place outside of stuffy Victorian homes. Serving, perhaps predictably, as a slang term for pubic hair, moss was understood to be consistently moist and jewel-like, glittering like emerald colonies under light. (…) Although tropes of sexual encounters occurring in gardens and forests far predated the nineteenth century, both realistically and literarily, these hidden moss grottoes conjured up an image of something semi-religious, some secret refuge from the trials of urban — and overwhelming imperial tropical — life.”

430 – The Swapper (2013 video game)

spacetime coordinates: abandoned space station Theseus  – remote outpost on uninhabitable desert planet Chori V

The Swapper is a puzzle-platform video game for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It was developed and published by Facepalm Games, a small independent company based in Helsinki, Finland.

The Swapper was a project made by two University of Helsinki students Otto Hantula and Olli Harjola in their spare time – backed by the Indie Fund, the 6th indie game title the fund has supported. Rather than digital textures, the game features handcrafted art assets and clay which forms the various game levels.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: OS:Windows XP SP3 or later, 64/32bit // Processor:Dual Core CPU (2.2+ GHz Dual Core CPU or better) // Memory:1 GB RAM // Graphics:GeForce® 8800 or Radeon® HD4800 series, 512 MB of memory, OpenGL 3.0 support required // Hard Drive:1 GB HD space

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http://store.steampowered.com/app/231160/The_Swapper/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swapper

372 – Kyaputen Hârokku (2013)

uchu_kaizoku_kyaputen_harokku_space_pirate_captain_harlock-posterSpace Pirate Captain Harlock (宇宙海賊キャプテンハーロック Uchū Kaizoku Kyaputen Hārokku) is a 2013 Japanese 3D CG anime science fiction film directed by Shinji Aramaki.CAPITAN_HARLOCKIn 2010, Toei Animation announced that it had developed a pilot for a computer-graphics remake of the earlier manga-inspired TV series, and presented it at Tokyo International Anime Fair that year. In the next year they presented a preview of Space Pirate Captain Harlock at Annecy International Animated Film Festival. This is Toei’s second highest production budget ever at the equivalent of over US$30 million. The story was reconstructed by the writer Harutoshi Fukui to reflect the themes of modern society and Toei provided the latest filmmaking technology for the film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2668134/

348 – Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens.”

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Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. “Gathering Moss” is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.
In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.

Drawing on her experiences as a scientist, a mother, and a Native American, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/87040.Gathering_Moss

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“the tiny pool of water held in a spoon-shaped leaf is the perfect resting place for a waterbear, as plump and gelatinous as a candy gummy bear. the moisture in a moss mat is as vital to the moss as it is to the waterbear. but, since mosses are non-vascular, their water content fluctuates with the amount of water in the environment. the moss leaves shrivel and contort as water evaporates, leaving them crisp and dry. the waterbears too, simply shrink when desiccated to as little as one-eight of their size forming barrel- shaped miniatures of themselves called tuns. metabolism is reduced to near zero and the tun can survive in this state for years. the tuns blow around in the dry winds like specks of dust, landing on new clumps of moss and dispersing farther than their short waterbear legs could ever carry them.”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bog_body 

Timewatch – The Bog Bodies (2006) on youtube (low-quality)

4000 Year Old Cold Case – The Body in the Bog 

314 – BioShock (2007 video game)

spacetime coordinates: 1960, the underwater city of Rapture

4997703-bioshock-wallpaperBioShock is a first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Boston (later Irrational Games) and 2K Australia, and published by 2K Games.bioshock propaganda 2

The game’s concept was developed by Irrational’s creative lead, Ken Levine, and incorporates ideas by 20th century dystopian and utopian thinkers such as Ayn RandGeorge Orwell, and Aldous Huxley, as well as historical figures such as John D. Rockefeller. The game is considered a spiritual successor to the System Shock series, on which many of Irrational’s team including Levine had worked previously.

BioShock is set in 1960. The player guides the protagonist, Jack, after his airplane crashes in the ocean near the bathysphere terminus that leads to the underwater city of Rapture. Built by the business magnate Andrew Ryan, the city was intended to be an isolated utopia, but the discovery of ADAM, a genetic material which can be used to grant superhuman powers, initiated the city’s turbulent decline. Jack tries to find a way to escape, fighting through hordes of ADAM-obsessed enemies, and the iconic, deadly Big Daddies, while engaging with the few sane humans that remain and eventually learning of Rapture’s past. The player, as Jack, is able to defeat foes in a number of ways by using weapons, utilizing plasmids that give unique powers, and by turning Rapture’s own defenses against them. BioShockincludes elements of role-playing games, giving the player different approaches in engaging enemies such as by stealth, as well as moral choices of saving or killing characters; additionally, the game and biopunk theme borrow concepts from the survival horror genre.

Bioshock Trailer

BioShock received critical acclaim and was particularly praised by critics for its morality-based storyline, immersive environments, and its unique setting, and is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time and a demonstration of video game as an art form.

bioshock propaganda 1

pc requirements (MINIMUM): Operating System: Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista. CPU: Intel single-core Pentium 4 processor at 2.4GHz. RAM: 1 GB, Video Card:Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM and Pixel Shader 3.0 (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550)