J. R. R. Tolkien

Alive at Once

“The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning. It is at its best when it is presented by a poet who feels rather than makes explicit what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in the world of history and geography, as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

Visual Inspiration: Filip Dujardin

Visual Inspiration: Filip Dujardin

Often when I share an artist that’s been inspiring to me, it’s usually someone who works as a concept artist. Today’s entry will be a bit of a departure from that. Filip Dujardin is a Belgian photographer who manipulates photos of architecture and cityscapes to create beautiful photomontage works that question the notion of architected spaces.


“I want to play at being an architect. All my creations leave the impression that they could have been built, it’s just that you’ve never seen them.”

—Filip Dujardin


In many ways, I think of my own work—and Lovat in particular—as a love letter to cities. Even if it’s just tangentially. There’s something fascinating about the constructed spaces and interactions that happen within. I love the optimistic concept of the city and the unpleasant realities that dwell in the shadow of that idealism. I find those juxtapositions beautiful. Many of those same themes are present in Dujardin’s work, in particular, his Fictions series. The interplay of form and function both natural and unnatural are warped and distorted, and it gives me pause as a viewer. I’m forced to reflect on the nature of urban environments and our interplay with them as occupants—what they mean, what they remove, how they shape us, and how they distort our experiences and change our perceptions.

I’ve selected some of my favorites below. Click to view them larger.

This is just a tiny sample of Filip Dujardin extensive body of work. You can see much more in his book Fictions and over on his website. (Be sure to check out his Guimaraes series.) If you’re looking to purchase any of his pieces, many are available online at Artspace.com.


If you like Filip Dujardin’s work be sure to check out some of the other artists who I’ve found inspiring in the past. While there’s certainly a theme to the art that inspires me, you’ll find lots of different styles, tones, and moods.


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The Sinking City

Well, My Interest is Piqued

I don’t play many video games these days. I find it difficult to get engaged the way I was in the past, so I can’t rightfully call myself a gamer. However, when I saw the recent cinematic trailer for Frogware’s The Sinking City, I can’t deny it caught my attention. It was the right mix of tone, style, and weirdness paired with Lovecraftian cosmic horror. I’ve posted the trailer below so you can check it out for yourself.

How about that setting? The Sinking City currently being billed as an “open world, open story, investigation game inspired by H.P. Lovecraft” and that’s enough to keep me interested. I’m wildly bored with combat-focused titles, so the investigation angle sounds appealing. How about you?

Echoes of the Wastelands

Echoes of the Wasteland

A repository of historical ephemera presented chronologically. There are circumstances still waiting to be discovered for those brave enough to peer around the edges of the world. This reality is faceted; each plane a reflection of corrupted shadow and light. Diligence.


Notice: This cache will be updated as necessary. Click on any image to view it larger.



CODA:

Many of these images have been posted on other social media accounts over the last few years and have never fully been assembled into one “master” location. This post has now rectified that oversight and I will continue to update it as necessary. If you’re confused, take heart, my friend, we all begin as colorless novices. I recommend starting here. (Well, start with my books first, then that post.) Ignore the whispers, those are just echoes from the wasteland.

See you soon, roader.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Farewell Facebook

Farewell Facebook

Today, I clicked delete on my Facebook account. It was a long time coming, and I’m not sad to see it go. Facebook has become a behemoth in the last decade, an irresponsible behemoth that created unethical systems used to prey on its users. Participation felt like a taciturn approval, and I didn’t want to validate that sort of behavior any longer.

For creators, Facebook has changed. A once vibrant landscape has slowly walled creators off onto Pages where our projects and content was no longer seen by the very people who were interested. It began to urge us to “boost posts”—five dollars here or a ten spot there. But boosted posts rarely returned worthwhile engagement. Promoting Pages often yielded poor results—likes and shares from shell accounts generated by click farms. Practices Facebook claims don’t exist, but the evidence says otherwise. I’ve watched friends with thousands and thousands of followers grow frustrated as engagement slipped away and the site became a meaningless money pit.

It was also a distraction. Yet one more place to waste time doing nothing. Over the last few years, I’ve shifted away from social media and doubled down on blogging. I love this blog. Here I control my content. If anyone wants to see what I am working on they just have to visit. I share newsphotos, thoughts, and opinions all the time. I get traffic. I get emails from readers. It’s not hidden by algorithms or walled off on some buried Page. It’s all accessible, and that’s glorious. It’s the old web, sure, but it’s reliable.

Things can always change. Microsoft isn’t the same company it was in the 90s. Apple isn’t the same company it was in the late-80s. Facebook ten years from now will be different than it is today. Under new leadership perhaps Facebook could turn things around quickly, but in the meantime, I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not wasting my time. I got books to write.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →