Category Archives: Speculative Fiction

Floris Kaayk’s Visions of Emergence 1: “The Order Electrus”

O nature, nature, life will not perish! . . . [I]t will start out naked and tiny; it will take root in the wilderness, and to it all we did and built will mean nothing—our towns and factories, our art, our ideas will all mean nothing, and yet life will not perish! Only we have perished. Our houses and machines will be in ruins, our systems will collapse, and the names of our great will fall away like autumn leaves.

—Karel Čapek, R.U.R.

Back in January, I wrote a post about Floris Kaayk’s “Metalosis Maligna,” a short film that I had seen years ago but thought lost to the internet void. There are two more of his videos that I want to share. Embedded above is “The Order Electrus” (2005), which I saw at the same time as “Metalosis Maligna,” in those heady days as I was groping around for my doctoral thesis project. Check out the video after the jump. Continue reading Floris Kaayk’s Visions of Emergence 1: “The Order Electrus”


Floris Kaayk’s “Metalosis Maligna”: Biopower Beyond Sovereignty

I stumbled upon the work of filmmaker Floris Kaayk way back in 2006, but quickly forgot about it until earlier this year, when I wanted to present a couple of his shorts here. I don’t think I had ever paid attention Kayyk’s name, so it isn’t surprising that my rather poor Google search a couple of months ago, in which I tried to describe what I remembered from his work, didn’t turn up what I was looking for.

Today—eureka! I discovered the video I was searching for, as well as Kaayk’s site. The Dutch animator has been busy in the past few years, even garnering some major media attention for his “Human Birdwings” project}, an experiment in “online storytelling,” as he calls it, that involves a fictional character who designs a bird suit and flies around a city park. While Kaayk’s site expresses appreciation for the “positive reactions” from around the world, the coverage from major news providers unfortunately fixates on the project as an online “hoax” or “fake.” Generosity and imagination, it would seem, are in short supply when it comes to new media.

What initially caught my attention way back when was his project entitled “Metalosis Maligna,” which takes the form of a documentary about a new disease that causes medical implants to spread throughout the bodies of afflicted patients. Complete with interviews with a leading clinical expert, as well as the requisite science-documentary-style infographics, Kaayk’s short presents the gruesome development of the disease, as all sorts of medical braces, screws, and joint replacements gradually take the place of a man’s organic tissue. Just to warn you, the video is fairly disturbing, both in its visuals and its sound design, not to mention the verisimilitude with which Kaayk apes the science-doc format. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, so I’ve embedded it after the jump. Continue reading Floris Kaayk’s “Metalosis Maligna”: Biopower Beyond Sovereignty

When He’s Not Stomping Tokyo . . .

Of all the Japanese movie monsters, Godzilla isn’t only the most famous, he’s the smoothest, most fun-lovin’ mutha of them all!

He’s a real old-fashioned gentleman . . .

. . . yet he has a smouldering desire that cannot be quenched.

His background in music-theatre really made him a triple threat in the swingin’ sixties . . .

. . . at least until that Kaiju-Blue Hawaii project tanked and almost brought Toho Co., Ltd. down with it.

True, he does have bit of a taste for the sake . . .

. . . but he always comes through for the kids.

And when its all over . . .


Seven Days of Fire, Tokusatsu Style

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo is currently hosting an exhibition curated by Hideki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame, entitled “Kanchō Anno Hideaki Tokusatsu Hakubutsukan” (“Curator Hideaki Anno’s Special Effects Museum”). Continue reading Seven Days of Fire, Tokusatsu Style

Failed Sorcery at Menlo Park

Sam Van Olffen, Eve Future.  Many of Van Olffen’s images have become synonymous with steampunk and dieselpunk.  See more of his work at Blogspot.

The description that the fictionalized Thomas Edison gives, in Villers’ L’Eve Future, of the inner workings of the android Hadaly is entirely fabricated. It is a brilliantly imaginative bricolage of extrapolations based on Edison’s productions up to the early-to-mid 1880s (the novel was initially published in 1886).  The centerpiece of Hadaly’s design is a twin set of golden phonograph records that house the sum of her physiological and conversational behaviour.  In the novel, Edison is of course rather vague on the finer points of how this set up works in practice, at times suggesting that Hadaly would be able to respond appropriately to particular gestures and queries put to her, while at others he appears more modest in his claims, implying that her activities would run on a set schedule to which one would more or less become accustomed. Continue reading Failed Sorcery at Menlo Park

Guinness World | Ideabird

Rebloggd from Ideabird 6/11/12

600 years from now, there is still Guinness, and there is still a Guinness Book of Records. They are the de facto guardians of the boundaries of humanity, defining what still is and isn’t human. An examiner travels to a distant, rural planet to meet a candidate for tallest human. These spider-like creatures walk on spindly stretched fingers and toes, and use their tentacular tongues as their main means of manipulation. The examiner is sceptical, but a romance with a young woman of the planet makes him re-examine his ideas of what it means to be human.

I love the idea that the Guinness Book of World Records polices the boundaries of the human. I wonder if there was some sort of ideological war between them and Ripley’s?

Catch more birds over at TheIdeaBird