Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets & Interview

Sci-Fi-O-Rama resurrects with a very special feature on Canadian miniature Photographer and Film Maker Adam Makarenko.

An award-winning multi-talented Artist Adam’s obviously involved with a plethora of supremely interesting visual projects, but it’s his outrageously ambitious ‘exoplanets’ mission we focus in on.

Adam Makarenko Exoplanet

Exoplanets, of course, are rarely out of the news these and the science to hunt them has come along way since the first definitive detection back in 1995 (Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva). Fast forward 22 years and as of the start of April 2017 confirmed exoplanets number over 3,500 and range from huge gas giants right down to worlds a similar size to our own precious Earth.

Just how earth like are these worlds, and are they suitable for life ? These are the tantalising questions cosmologists and biologists face today. To answer is a mammoth technical challenge, not unlike Adam’s endeavour to experiment and construct his vision of these far flung worlds in miniature.

It’s rare to come across a piece of art that really moves me. This odyssey of distortion does just that.

Unnerving, strangely touching and certainly one of the most spellbinding and hallucinatory 5 minutes of music video your ever likely to see. This is but a taster of Luke Wyatt’s ‘Sad Stonewash’ (a Video Mulch) a 40-minute sojourn into the abyss of VHS.

“Video Mulch” is Wyatt’s trademark form of extreme analogue Video Processing, created using a combo of outdated analogue and digital tools.

Wyatt describes the process as thus:

“I select a video to appropriate based on its mood resonance or compositional zing. My VCR gets beat up with a size 13 docksider until it makes errors and the VHS tape spits upon itself. While digitizing the video I induce the computer to make mistakes by not telling it the truth about the data it is ingesting. I isolate the mistakes I like best, outline them, and send them back to my VCR, resuming the docksider attack, repeating this process until things attain an anti-sheen, losing any crisp edge as if they had always belonged together. I then arrange the images in an order that must appear equally

Heinz Edelmann - Lord Of The Rings

‘Lord of the Rings’ (German Book Cover) – 1970

Sci-Fi-O-Rama is proud to present a selection of ‘far out’ imagery sequestered from the fantastically titled ‘Electrical Banana’ Psychedelic art book – and yes that title is indeed derived from a reference to a certain type of sex toy.

This article was originally planned as a feature on 60’s Psychedelic Music Posters by artists such as Bonnie MacleanVictor Moscoso and Wes Wilson and you may well have spotted samples appearing in the Sci-Fi Overflow. Upon searching for an appropriate book to feature I came across Electrical Banana and a selection of artists I was less familiar with so I thought I’d give it punt. Here’s the blurb:

Electrical Banana is the first definitive examination of the international language of psychedelia, focusing on the most important practitioners in their respective fields with a deft combination of hundreds of unseen images and exclusive interviews and essays, Electrical Banana aims to revise the common perception of psychedelic art, showing it to be more innovative, compelling, and revolutionary than was ever thought before.

The artists include: Marijke Kroger, a Dutch artist responsible for dressing the

Silence Televison - Back To The Future II

Lets start 2013 with something of a round up. A quick reality check, refresh, and splash of Eau de toilette. 

What we have here then is a brief sampler straight from the Sci-Fi-O-Rama barometer, a long awaited update on a selection of the finest, past featured contemporary artists.


Silence Televison

We begin this post sandwiched between the wonderful work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known in design circles as Silence Televsion. Heading the article is a simply stunning metallic screenprint celebrating Robert Zemeckis’s 1989 blockbusting sequel ‘Back to the Future II’, a recent commission for Mondo, whom we have of course interviewed before, In fact Mondo is a common theme here as you’ll see…

The Mondo Screenprint alas is long since sold out, though I imagine as with other Mondo material they’ll circulate occasionally in eBay (set up a watched search).  What I particularly love about this DeLorean DMC-12 rendering, aside from the typical hyper detail is of course the angle, admittedly it’s a while since I last saw the film, but I can’t remember ever seeing a shot of the car at this viewpoint,


This is a belated tribute post to the late, great Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius and whom sadly, as I’m sure you know has recently passed away, following an extended battle with cancer. A gloomy time for the highest echelon of visual futurists, following the recent death of Starwars designer and visionary Ralph McQuarrie, another brilliant blinding light flickers and fades.

Jean Giraud was one of the worlds finest comic artists and fantasists, up there with luminaries such as Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki . Perhaps, in fact, he was the finest, I don’t think it’s an exaggerated statement to suggest that Giraud possessed an almost supernatural ability, an artist whose oneness with his inner creative universe was matched only by his voracious work rate. It’s extremely poignant to now think that every vision forged from Moebius’s staggeringly complex creative mind has now been produced, there’ll never be another…

For this post then I’ve handpicked a just a small selection of his beautiful art, as usual, I’ve then tried to lace with as many leads out as I can for your further reading, let’s start with his

Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80’s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

1. Midwinter (1989) Microplay – Amiga/Atari St/IBMPC

Hailing way back from 1989 we begin with this wonderful in-game animation, taken from Mike Singleton‘s seminal first-person Action/Strategy game ‘Midwinter’. I actually covered the back story and game mechanics in depth a few years back, today the focus is the virtual world itself . This long forgotten classic (23 years old!) featured the implementation of many radical new ideas most notably it’s beautiful, fractal generated landscape, all 160,000 square miles of it. Upon this jagged stage of relentless grey and blue polygons the game would unfold, the above animation shows all of the objects to be found within this bleak digital realm.

This type of spinning model animation was not unique to Midwinter, as you’ll see below, but of them all this (for me) has the most resonance. Back them due to hardware restrictions, there was no texture or bump mapping – at least not in game – graphics could only run with a limited palette, though this was expanded by interlacing or dithering the colours.  Seen above this is the checkered, flickering effect as two filled blocks dance between each other. There’s also a real charm with the basic tones of this palette too, earthy terracotta, golden yellows and shades of evergreen jumping straight off the jet black background. A final note and a total giveaway of the era is the speed in which the objects rotate, the simplest and smallest revolving far faster, whilst the emulated 8Mhz processor slows to shift the larger models.

I’ll summerise to say how the subtle, simplistic genius of the design today could easily pass off as abstract pop-art.

Read more about Midwinter at Wikipedia

Midwinter Snow Witch

Midwinter Snow Bull

1 2 3 4