In my last blog, I featured the work of artists who have, in their own different ways, imagined what it might be like to look at an alien sky. The artists I feature in this blog, have populated their extraterrestial environments with habitations, buildings, cities, or what might be sacred sites, adapted to those alien conditions.
Rather than looking at the latest in hi-tech development, quite a few artists have found their inspiration in art from several centuries ago: the first image is a stunning combination of hypermodern city features, with shapes that strongly remind me of the medieval Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, and his vision of Earthly Paradise. And the following one rather reminds me of Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s Tower of Babel, mixed with architectural features one might find in places like Yemen, or Mali – a style of building suited for a desert environment like Tatooine.
Sometimes the lines between natural features, and evidence of civilisation, are a bit blurry: Are we looking at totem poles, or natural rocks? And how about the architecture of an alien race – structures which obey no known law of human engineering, but seem rather like the natural secretion of their inhabitants, something like termite hills perhaps.
On the other end of the spectrum, traditional buildings of wood, brick and stone, or concrete and glass, have given way completely to metal-made structures which might be a spacecraft, or might be a city. And while in most of these images, there is a certain preponderance of the upward-striving: towers, poles, antennae, and their ilk – it is quite refreshing to encounter an image which emphasises wide airy curves instead. Might it be a holiday paradise of the future, the ultimate extraterrestial beach experience perhaps?
Cities floating in the clouds are so popular with artists that they almost merit their own blog post. Here are three fine examples of the Spawn of Bespin:
Why stop at the clouds? Don’t we still dream about building the ultimate Tower of Babel?These artists imagine structures so huge that they dwarf whole planets, or even encapsulate a full-size sun, for the purpose of power generation!
But even the most advanced future civilisation will eventually decay, littering extraterrestial landscapes with the ruins of their greatness, for other explorers to find…
See you in a fortnight – with yet more images from alien worlds! Please feel free to leave your comments.