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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Prometheus

In Design, Movies, Philosophy, Surreal on April 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I felt that this was so beautiful when I first saw it. Well directed, wonderful script and treated in a very retro cinematic quality that I thought was refreshing for this genre. Sci-fi films usually go with the whole clinical space-like steel atmosphere, but this seemed to be done in a manner where the 50s and 60s were re-imagining the future. Strange enough, the artistic style of muted tones felt current even though it was not referencing any specific time periods but recreating within a past era.

This viral press promotion was created for the new upcoming movie Prometheus directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace. A group of scientists travel to the darkest ends of the universe to learn more about the origins of man. However when they arrive, they end up having to fight a terrible battle to save the human race. The Viral focuses more on the character of David, a humanistic A.I robot that understands emotion. A clever teaser for the movie in my opinion, as not too much about the movie is given away but interest has been stirred.

I especially love the bit starting from 0:18 where David is revealed freshly packaged in foam squares and he gives a sudden jerk of movement- wonderful subtle detail that suggests the beginning of ‘life’, alluding to the kicking of a foetus in a mother’s womb.

I also love the personal touch at the end where David’s name is handwritten instead of typeset. It made for a surprising neon twist for a video full of pastel shades.

Here’s the official trailer of Prometheus should this viral have aroused your curiosity.

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A Temple for Atheists

In Architecture, Philosophy on January 31, 2012 at 11:23 am

Above, a tall dark tower looms over a crowded city of London. Pigeons scatter across the sky while some perch nonchalantly atop the structure. Almost looking like a still straight out from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, this photograph instantly caught my eye. Seen on the website of The Telegraph, it is a concept visual for philosopher Alain de Botton’s proposal for secular temples to be built in cities across the country, starting in London.

Why Atheists would need temples is curious food for thought. Raised as a Atheist himself, Alain de Botton explains that in today’s busy world, people have little time for organised religion. However, it does not mean that they do not appreciate the nostalgic memories and charming rituals that religion presents. In a way, these religious buildings bring across a sense of calm, much like how old architecture from ages past, do. He hopes that these “secular spaces for contemplation” will help cure modern egotism and encourage oneself to be less selfish and more aware of the world around them.

The design of the tower itself has a interesting story- it will be made from different types of stones spanning across human history, forming a visual geological timeline, starting with a 1mm band of gold at the foot of the tower which symbolises man’s time on earth, relative to the age of the earth. Alain de Botton believes that this structure will be able to compete with great churches and “will have a timeless quality”.

This in my opinion is such a forward thinking proposal which addresses modern needs and captures current lifestyles so effectively. I have always been in admiration of the energy that active religious-activity-goers have, especially in this fast paced lifestyle where time is never enough. Unfortunately, many people find the amount of time or energy needed to seem ‘devoted’ so intimidating that it drives them away from the religion in question. This beautiful structure is a great way of reminding us to be contemplative of our place in this big world. The open attitude that it upholds bridges the gap between belief and nothing at all- be spiritual in your own time, in your own way.

Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness is proving to be a very enlightening read. I am quite a fan of his work- he writes with purpose and has the ability to present complicated concepts in the simplest ways. Religion for Atheists is definitely next on my list.

I tried to scour the internet for more photographs but I guess the plans are still in its initial stages. For the full article head over to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/9045391/Alain-de-Botton-puts-faith-in-temples-for-atheists.html