Buried treasure.

We think it’s a perfect time to look at paintings by Scott Johnson.

From top to bottom:

South Pacific
Terror Forming
Last Dance

All paintings are oil on linen mounted on wood, measuring 12″ x 12″ with the exception of Last Dance – which is 30″ x 32″ – and were painted in 2009.

Let’s just think about all this oil, about what’s happening and what this will really, truly, do to our world. It’s not just a “large group of carbons where they shouldn’t be,” as some people in some mindsets would have us think; and why is that something we would dismiss as no big deal, anyway? Carbons. One of the (what, three?) essential elements that we’re made of? Why is that what we’re willing to accept as the reasoning to not worry about it? A large group of carbons where they shouldn’t be… That is exactly what we’re concerned about. What’s a nuclear explosion? Oh, don’t worry about it. Just a large group of really little hot things.

Please note that these images can be clicked multiple times to zoom closer. And they are all totally worth your extra clicking.

The Anima of Amanita.

Amanita Design is an independent game development studio founded in 2003 by Jakub Dvorsky. The Czech studio has created games for the BBC (Questionaut) and The Polyphonic Spree. They’ve won several Webby’s and have been nominated for a BAFTA. They’ve collaborated with Bjork for a point and click “toy” called The Pantry, and recently released their first full-length masterpiece, Machinarium – three years in the making – in which a self-made robot journeys through a bizarre and beautiful landscape.

Amanita’s work is magical and visually complex. They create unique worlds which require focus and concentration, which are non-violent and bereft of smash cuts, nor are they filled with thrashing music and the vibrating impact of bullets in bodies. They won’t tweak your blood-lust, nor will they train you for combat. The ten artists at Amanita seem more interested in making us think.

Machinarium presents breathtaking scenes navigated by unusual and unlikely heroes who poke and prod their surroundings – which vary from swampy garbage dumps to robot-filled cities in dank decline – for clues and tools to reach some far off destination. A character might find a bit of rope, the keys of a saxophone, or a houseplant, not knowing the purpose for any particular item until later in the game when they meet a musician, find a greenhouse, or approach a bridgeless ravine. The inventory of odd objects grows, and creative problem solving must be employed to fit the pieces together.

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