This origin of this post comes via an old scan of a Finnish textbook I’d come across on ffffound.com (now defunct).
The scan features an intriguing selection of coats of arms representing various municipalities of Finland. These crests all share a powerful combination of both graphic and abstract elements, underpinned with a definite feel of modernism. Essentially then, far more punch than the boring traditional British heraldic crests I’m accustomed to.
Anyway, I decided It was high time to do the research so here’s selection of my favourites.
Pielisjärvi – Pielisjärvi is an area of North Karelia, situated on the Russian border. As with many Scandinavian Coats of Arms the endless boreal forests and creatures that inhabit them are a common theme.
The original design is credited to Tapio Vallioja (1920-2005) who designed numerous coats of arms for municipalities, communities and individuals. According to translated Finnish Wikipedia (quite well I might add) Vallioja was one of the 12 founding members of the Heraldic Society of Finland, the article describes his style as ‘clear and understated’.
Enontekiö – A community in Finland’s North West that lays above the Arctic Circle, part of the area that is considered Lapland. This design a Rock Ptarmigan on a bright blue shield, a pretty bird colloquially known in English as a ‘Snow Chicken’.
Sci-Fi-O-Rama returns with a quick feature on a rather special Tumblr known simply as ‘UI BAKA‘.
Originating from ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ this Tumblr celebrates the art of sci-fi interfaces with a particular slant towards Japanese Anime, something we’ve shamefully rarely covered.
So what to expect? Well all things bright and beautiful of course, and in this case that’s glowing wire spheres, rippling sine waves, flickering binaries and a large dollop of a targeting reticles.
Indeed whatever the incandescent element, and no matter the function, as long as somethings spins or pulses, it works.
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“Video Mulch” is Wyatt’s trademark form of extreme analogue Video Processing, created using a combo of outdated analogue and digital tools.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
A varied selection of retro SF and Fantasy book art. Sci-Fi-O-Rama was pretty much built upon the back of posting forgotten book and games art, so with a renaissance in blog activity what better than to revisit the archives and excerpt another sampler.
What’s fascinating with each of these examples is that though they might not always fully hit the mark there’s always something of interest or worthy of reference. This then might be a style of colouring, a technique in rendering, the choice and application of a typeface, or even something as obscure as the design of a motif. In short, even the most subtle fragment of detailing can flick a creative switch, it’s all about your own imagination. That isn’t, however, to say that every Sci-Fi book cover has merit – au contraire – they most certainly do not. But that’s what we’re here for, to filter and serve only the very finest…
In putting this (abridged) selection together we’re go revisit several of the artists featured at Sci-Fi-O-Rama before, people who defined and shaped the genre such as
‘Behind The American Dream’ Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico 2001)
This selection is a book sampler ‘New Poster Art’ published by Thames & Hudson in 2008. I picked up a copy after spying a fellow commuter thumbing through it on my regular morning train journey. As the title suggests its a fairly weighty compendium of selected poster Design, Typography and Illustration pulling in artists from across the planet…
The books global nature makes it interesting by default, encompassing an extremely varied selection of art and applied graphical technique. Here’s a taster with a few notes…
‘Unknown Land’ AGI Poster (Netherlands 2007) Bob van Dijk
An interesting abstract blend of bold primary colours and grungy line work, lovely stuff.
‘Maria Stuart by Friedrich Schiller’ – Dieter Feseke, Theatre Poster (Germany 2002-3)
As the above example demonstrates ‘New Post Art’ is full of examples of Silkscreen printed work, and thus many excellent references for contrasting,
‘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 Maclean, Victor 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