A few months ago I made an image based on a subject I really am intrigued by, namely, the hypothesis of an ancient race of alien astronauts, which were our evolutionary progenitors. The scientific community largely discredits this hypothesis as hocum, but the broad strokes of this theory are sound - that the seeds of our DNA could likely have originated from another world, and, through collisions, supernovas, and other primordial phenomena, our building blocks could have come from many interstellar origin points, through meteor and asteroid strikes, or maybe, just maybe, a master species seeded our prehistoric world with their genetic material, a human primer.
The image I created, "I Will Diminish and Remain," was the result of my attempt, and largely based on my recent viewing of the film "Prometheus." The opening of that film shows a vaguely human astronaut who literally self-destructs, his dust filling the air and the water with his genetic material. It was an amazing scene, and really struck me both visually and intellectually. My image based on that scene though, was, well, not my favorite thing I've ever created. I won't go into the details of what I didn't like, but I thought the concept was worth another attempt. I am not at all interested in trying to imitate that scene in the film, just try to capture the theme, the tone of it.
And so, as I was dabbling with some textures, and shooting some more objects this weekend, I decided to shoot a wall medallion of a Celtic pentacle I purchased last year for a Tarot card series I was shooting. Once I placed the pentacle image over this model shot and sculpted it onto his body, I had my ancient astronaut. It was somewhat reminiscent of Giger's art from the Alien series, which included "Prometheus." The ladders I used in "I Will Diminish and Remain" were intended to represent the ladders of DNA, a visual metaphor. This time I have a ladder that serves as a literal on as well as the DNA metaphor.
My astronaut has disembarked from his ship and set foot on a primordial planet, possibly Earth. Tubules from his head deposit raw genetic material into the earth, at the same time he seeds the atmosphere, altering it to support the life that will form thousands of years later. The scene from the film implied an almost religious implication of ceremony, a self-sacrifice for the good of the universe, a monk on a spiritual pilgrimage arriving at is conclusion, This pose, coupled with the strange body armor created with the detailed etching of the pentacle overlay, reminded me of that, and so the image came together fairly quickly once I found what it wanted to be.
The road to completion was a bit long though, and about 200 layers in all, making it the most complicated composite I have yet attempted. But in the end, I was happy to have taken on this concept again, and in my opinion, created a better image from it than the first one.
My title references both the film "Prometheus" and the concept of the ancient aliens providing a genetic primer for our civilization. Prometheus in Greek Mythology was a titan who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind.
model: Mike Ryan
Specialist and abstract
Fine Art Photography
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