FLUID CHARACTERS BY JOSE MERTZ

by Ariadna Zierold

jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground

Miami based artist Jose Mertz is an illustrator/street artist who focuses on pushing an experimental original style with inspirations coming from ancient civilizations and their teachings, science fiction, Eastern philosophy, dreams, myth and the supernatural, expressing his vision about the human condition.

jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground

Mertz takes us to the deepest realms of the mind, reveals the complexity of human emotions, deconstructs and reconstructs his fluid characters and opens the door to new dimensions and endless possibilities of perceiving and interacting with our inner and surrounding reality.

jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground jose mertz, miami, illustrator, illustration, street art, sci fi, supernatural, dreams, emotion, characters, upper playground

 

SCIENCE FICTION BY VIRGIL FINLAY

by Ariadna Zierold

virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground

Virgil Finlay was an American pulp fantasy, science fiction and horror illustrator. He has been called “part of the pulp magazine history … one of the foremost contributors of original and imaginative art work for the most memorable science fiction and fantasy publications of our time.” 

virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground

While he worked in a range of media, from gouacheto oils, Finlay specialized in, and became famous for, detailed pen-and-ink drawings accomplished with abundant stippling, cross-hatching, and scratchboard techniques. He produced wild and fantastic images of monsters, aliens, demons, robots, spacemen, spaceships, bizarre experiments, psychological horror, fantastic landscapes, and women.

virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground virgil finlay, science fiction, scifi, sci fi, illustration, drawing, illustrations, drawings, monochromatic, stippling, scratchboard, monsters, aliens, women, robots, space, spaceships, bizarre, fantastic, landscapes, pulp fantasy, upper playground

 

ILLUSTRATION NOSTALGIA BY ANDREW FAIRCLOUGH

by Ariadna Zierold

andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground

Andrew Fairclough is a Sydney based Illustrator, Designer and Art Director. After completing a Business Degree, Andrew moved on to designing skate and snowboard graphics in between self-instruction and full time work in a design agency.

andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground

Andrew’s work is inspired by mid-century spot illustrations and design as well as vintage sci-fi, comics, surrealism, DIY art culture, and the textural wonders of degraded print. Often working with a restricted color palette Andrew’s work seeks to hint at the nostalgia and tactility of found art, whilst also creating something completely new.

andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground andrew fairclough, sydney, illustration, illustrator, vintage, nostalgia, science, humor, sci fi, surrealism, surreal, upper playground

LIVERIED SPACECRAFTS BY PETER ELSON

by Ariadna Zierold

peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground

Peter Elson was an English science fiction illustrator whose work appeared on the covers of numerous science fiction paperback novels, as well as in the Terran Trade Authority series of illustrated books.

peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground

Elson, whose illustrations often placed detailed, brightly liveried spacecraft against vividly colored backgrounds, influenced an entire generation of science fiction illustrators and concept artists.

peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground peter elson, sci fi, science fiction, space, spacecraft, illustration, concept, upper playground

NEON DREAMS BY PATRYK HARDZIEJ

by Ariadna Zierold

patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground

Polish illustrator and graphic designer Patryk Hardziej lives and works in Tricity, Poland, and is active internationally. He handles projects dealing with illustration, branding, logo design, visual communication, editorial graphics and art projects, as well. In particular, Hardziej is fond of combining in different proportions technical aspects of graphic design with illustration. He loves old graphic signs and is highly interested in their history. Together with Patrycja Podkościelny they operate in a graphic tandem and run the ¬ Negation Studio.

patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground patryk hardziej, illustration, sci fi, dreamlike, neon, characters, surreal, poland, upper playground

BEAUTIFUL SCI-FI BY ARTYOM TRAKHANOV

by Ariadna Zierold

artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground

Artyom Trakhanov lives and works in Novosibirsk, Russia, where he is feverishly working on his next creator-owned project. Trakhanov’s most recent work includes the moody and beautiful sci-fi epic UNDERTOW, as well as assorted cover work for Image, BOOM!, and DC Comics.

artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground

Artyom has contributed covers and short stories to several titles while working on multiple new projects, both with writers and on his own.

artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground artyom trakhanov, comic, illustration, undertow, stories, sci-fi, russia, upper playground

 

DYSTOPIAN FUTURE BY SIMON STALENHAG

by Ariadna Zierold

simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground

Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag depicts a uncomfortable collision of present and future where people much like us seem to confront a brave new technological reality. In his digital paintings children throw spears at terrifying drones, and people wander aimlessly in their yards while fully engrossed inside virtual reality helmets strapped to their heads, and sometimes there’s even a giant alien caterpillar.

simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground

The artwork is impactful as a result of this juxtaposition between the harsh realities of life and the sci-fi technologies of our dreams.

simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground simon stalenhag, dystopian, future, sci fi, technology, children, virtual, reality, dreams, painting, upper playground

Machine Learns to Watch “Blade Runner” and Recreates the Footage

The videos below are the result of Broad's unique machine-learned encoding project that attempted to reconstruct the 1982 film from a pile of disassembled data. The side by side comparisons show the actual film and the autoencoded version. Warner Bros. made a mistake in filing the notice because some of the Blade Runner footage wasn't actually from the movie itself. It was the product of the complex neural-networks systems Broad had created using Deep Learning, which uses algorithmic machine learning to create artificial intelligence, to make the video simulation of the movie. This machine was "taught" to understand and generate real video data. Thus, Warner Bros. retracted the take down notice as it was shown that the recreated footage was made of something entirely new- something we've never seen before. Via news.upperplayground.com

Just when you think you’re getting smarter by having a second brain attached to your hip, i.e. smartphone, a machine comes out that is not only smarter than you, but can learn to be human like you too.

The videos below are the result of Broad's unique machine-learned encoding project that attempted to reconstruct the 1982 film from a pile of disassembled data. The side by side comparisons show the actual film and the autoencoded version. Warner Bros. made a mistake in filing the notice because some of the Blade Runner footage wasn't actually from the movie itself. It was the product of the complex neural-networks systems Broad had created using Deep Learning, which uses algorithmic machine learning to create artificial intelligence, to make the video simulation of the movie. This machine was "taught" to understand and generate real video data. Thus, Warner Bros. retracted the take down notice as it was shown that the recreated footage was made of something entirely new- something we've never seen before. Via news.upperplayground.com

Roy Batty, a replicant from “Blade Runner”

Scared yet? You should be.

With billionaire futurists like Elon Musk and Bill Gates actively funding to stop, decelerate or bring “safety” into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, one thing is becoming very clear, there is an evolution of intelligence smarter than human beings, and sorry, humans – you ain’t the be all, end all of this universe. (Don’t worry, that’s just your ego getting upset right now, take a deep breath, and notice there’s also a Being of Love inside you that you can work on bringing out). With Ego wars having been the prevailing force of evil since the dawn of humanity, a new form is transcending that may or may not be capable of the same kind of thinking and being i.e. what Musk and Gates are deathly afraid of. Because if the super-intelligent robots learn to assimilate human, contradictory, fear-mongering qualities, the apocalypse is inevitable- we’d all be f*cked. A taste of our own medicine, if you will, a real-life Twilight Zone episode, the consequence of greed, social injustice, wars and did I mention, greed?

This next level of economic, social, political, AI, human transparency is absolutely fascinating to me. So let’s learn more about it from a researcher living in London named Terence Broad, who is working on a master’s degree in creative computing. His dissertation, “Autoencoding Video Frames,” is the crux to the regimented culture of copyright laws and the source of present day remix culture and Artificial Intelligence that led Warner Bros. to file a takedown notice of Broad’s artificial reconstruction of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller, Blade Runner. The plot of Blade Runner is so apropos to the research Broad is conducting. The story shows that “Replicants” are AI versions of humans who have returned to earth to find their creator, are deemed as dangerous and consequently need to be killed or “retired” by human blade runners. Indeed it is what most humans are afraid of today: the rise of machines.

And the machines are rising.

The videos below are the result of Broad’s unique machine-learned encoding project that attempted to reconstruct the 1982 film from a pile of disassembled data. The side by side comparisons show the actual film and the autoencoded version. Warner Bros. made a mistake in filing the notice because some of the Blade Runner footage wasn’t actually from the movie itself. It was the product of the complex neural-networks systems Broad had created using Deep Learning, which uses algorithmic machine learning to create artificial intelligence, to make the video simulation of the movie.  This machine was “taught” to understand and generate real video data. Thus, Warner Bros. retracted the take down notice as it was shown that the recreated footage was made of something entirely new- something we’ve never seen before.

 

 

 

The videos below are the result of Broad's unique machine-learned encoding project that attempted to reconstruct the 1982 film from a pile of disassembled data. The side by side comparisons show the actual film and the autoencoded version. Warner Bros. made a mistake in filing the notice because some of the Blade Runner footage wasn't actually from the movie itself. It was the product of the complex neural-networks systems Broad had created using Deep Learning, which uses algorithmic machine learning to create artificial intelligence, to make the video simulation of the movie. This machine was "taught" to understand and generate real video data. Thus, Warner Bros. retracted the take down notice as it was shown that the recreated footage was made of something entirely new- something we've never seen before. Via news.upperplayground.com

Left Column of Photos from the actual movie, “Blade Runner”; the Right Column represents the autoencoded recreation.


 

“ACT 1: WARPED PASSAGE” BY CURIOT

by Ariadna Zierold

curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground

Favio Martínez, aka Curiot, is a street art artist based in Mexico City. His work is often mythological, but he doesn’t apply a specific myth to the images that he paints, strongly inspired by his Mexican heritage which he hopes to uphold in his art. Strange creatures inhabit his compositions, while every one of them is definitely alien like.

curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground curiot, favio martinez, mexico, mythological, sci-fi, alien, surreal, upper playground

 

The Third Dimension | JONATHAN BENAINOUS

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game “Ghost Recon: Wildlands” near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger’s work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush.

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger's work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush. Via news.upperplayground.com (1)

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger's work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush. Via news.upperplayground.com (2)

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger's work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush. Via news.upperplayground.com (3)

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger's work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush. Via news.upperplayground.com (4)

Jonathan Benainous is a 32 year old 3D artist, Senior Environment Engineer on the video game "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" near Paris. First starting off with 2D video games, Benainous quickly moved into what would be his focus and true interest, 3D art. Benainous says he was inspired by the realm of Japanimation and sci-fi hits like Akira and European artists like H.R. Giger's work on Alien. He is currently working on a personal project on sci-fi helmets he creates with ZBrush. Via news.upperplayground.com (5)