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week 8 – matthew hulse

grayscale photography of people walking near buildings
– research presentation –

For the research presentation I chose the prompts Utopia/Dystopia. I thought they were most relevant to Dee’s workshop and I.P. work, especially with the thematic I went with.

Presentation Transcript (there may have been a bit more flourish in my live presentation):

I chose the theme of dystopia/utopia. I chose this in reference to Dee’s workshop. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to see it, explained in person, but I thought this thematic is so appropriate. I just couldn’t not talk about it.

So who is my artist of choice, it is none other than Ralph Angus McQuarrie.

Before I get into the artworks, I’d just like to define the term ‘Utopia.’ A Utopia is a place of ideal perfection; especially in laws, government and social conditions.

You are probably wondering what is Mr McQuarrie known for. Only a small franchise known as Star Wars! McQuarrie was a conceptual artist for the original trilogy of films, and was inspired by Art Deco, and the Bauhaus movement.

He was also inspired by the 1927, German science-fiction film Metropolis, which is regarded to be the first science-fiction film.

Here, we see his vision for Cloud City of the planet of Bespin. This is meant to be a utopian civilisation. The structure is a mining facility in the clouds.

Next up, we have the interior of the Death Star, a super-weapon capable of destroying whole planets.

This image is on the exterior of the Death Star. It is the size of a moon.

I love these images as they are a glimpse into what the film franchise could’ve looked like.

It is also interesting how although this section is meant to show a utopian society, it is riddled by an oppressive authoritarian aristocracy, under an absolute monarchy.

What I’m trying to say is that whilst science may be evolved to cure many more things, and societies are more open-minded, there is always a group of people who suffer in dystopian conditions, in order for others to lead a utopian lifestyle.

A Dystopia is an imagined world or society, in which people live wretched, dehumanised, and fearful lives.

Here we see the desert planet of Tatooine. People on this planet make a living of farming moisture, because it is a luxury to be hydrated.

Again we have Tatooine, but from a different perspective: Droids in Star Wars, offer fascinating insight on what I’d like to call, ‘socially accepted and crafted slavery.’ All droids have a purpose and serve their masters, however, they also have independent thoughts, and it is theorised that they have emotions too.

On Tatooine scavenging is a common source of income. Everything left unattended is left to be taken apart and resold. Nothing can go to waste because resources are so scarce.

This arid planet is home to dangerous folks who hang around titular ‘spaceports.’ The Empire control many planets in the galaxy, often causing problems to the locals, purely for their own game, and to maintain their chokehold on galactic societies.

All of this leads to insurgent groups who oppose the Empire, leading to its ultimate destruction.

Utopias and Dystopias are not so far apart, despite their sheer contrast of living situations. It’s just a matter of perspective. In the real world, we can parallel this to global warming. Decisions made by older generations have led to the snowballing effect that climate change has caused. It is their decisions we must now counteract, to alleviate whatever damage we can. If we don’t, then our kids, and their kids, and so on and so forth, might have to live in a dystopia…

I think the presentation went well. I only received comments from one person though, which could just mean that I did a really good job at presenting, or that I didn;t hit the mark; at least one person got the message loud and clear!

– easter –

Over Easter I had a lot of work to do for other modules so I mostly focused on that, seeing as my project was simple enough to execute, and was practically complete. I mostly focused on designing the promotional posters and logos for The TAKEOVER. It was nice collaborating with others to come up with ideas together. Ultimately, my designs weren’t chosen which is a but of a bummer, but you can’t please everyone. Luckily I was able to reuse one of my designs to be in the publication.

That’s all for now 🙂 Here’s a flower I made on Illustrator, along with my design trial and error runs for the TAKEOVER.

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