Page name: Magnum Opus [Logged in view] [RSS]
2008-05-26 13:30:35
Last author: iippo
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(Dividers from Elftown Graphics, artist is [Truth . Beauty . Love]. Many thanks.)


This is my final year project for university, where I study Fine Art a slightly larger project than that :P It's internet art, an interactive dictionary about machinery. When I say "about machinery", I mean all possible connections that the world can make with machines: anything between literal observations of machinery we live with and symbolic use of the machine to discuss abstract ideas like love.

The entries will take the shape of wiki-pages (see MO: Example Entry for the format). The main focus on each wikipage will be the piece (see more of them below), which will be, in most cases, done in Flash. They will be anything Flash can do, including several kinds of animations, sound-pieces like music and radio-plays, interactive games, slideshows of still images, texts scrolling across the screen or read out loud and any of these methods combined.


[I would very much love it if people suggested things to me, helped me make something for this thing, or even made a whole entry on their own perhaps. I would be like an editor of a newspaper, you'd get the credit that is due, and we'd all get the happeh-ness of collaboration.] (Sorry for pinkness).


So how did this project come to me? Why am I taking up this crazy project?
-Dictionary of iippo.
I'll always be one to define, to sort, to list...
I did some work with Flash last year, and it's my weapon of choice, the medium I use to reach the world. There are many reasons for this choice: cheapness, universality (near all computers play swf-files, they can be turned to tv...), easy-to-useness, accessibility, employment prospects, compability with other mediums like sound and details jpg-files...
-'Gould's Book of Fish' and 'The Encyclopaedia of Snow'
Highly influential pieces of literature (another one possibly being 'Island of Lost Maps'). I actually thought of this project when reading 'Snow', it was like a missing piece of a puzzle falling to place. (This is a form of contextualisation, that we have to do in university.)


The themes approached and explored, what the entries will discuss.I want you to throw more of these at me. :3
-Machinery - Philosophy, psychology, etc... interesting things to talk about - Art
First and foremost, everything will have to be linked to machinery, engines, motors, inventions, mechanics, etc... No matter how loose a connection, it must be there.
               -Machines & People - the relation between us and them
               -Mechanic Wealth - our goal (money) and their infinite possibilities
               -A Working Engine - their reasons to exist. Our reason to exist..?
               -Evolution of Machines
               -Machines and nature - Relation between manmade and natural (God-made?)


The sources. What can I read, watch, hear, experience to be able to make a more in-depth image of the machinery used in the artistic things of the world.I want you to throw more of these at me :3

Art history (inc. contemporary art)
               -Eduardo Paolozzi
               -Francis Picabia - designed machines that were absolutely non-operational
               -Max Ernst - "Anatomy of a young bride," "The Elephant Celebes"
               -George Grosz - "Republican Automatons"
               -De Chirico
               -Raoul Hausmann - "Tatlin At Home"
               -Adolp Mouron - "The Intransigent"
               -(Paul?) Klee - "Analysis of Various Perversities"
               -Man Ray - Portemanteau
               -Both Art Deco and Constructivism had technology at their core ( )
               -Futurism ( <URL:> )
               -Vorticism (English counter-futurism "movement", didn't last long)
               -Art of the 20s (Sorry for lame name but that's what the book was called)
Communities (ET/WC/MM/)
               -Mechanic Deltira Amriel
Friends and relations
Non (FFS why didn't I think this before. The uberness is making me bounce! Omg!!)
Books (means fiction mostly, don't mind poetry either)
               -HM Hoover: ORVIS (read in Finnish)
               -Blake Morrison: Justification of Johann Gutenberg (read in English)
               -Persig: Zen and the art of motor cycle maintenance (not read yet)
               -Dan Brown: Meteorite (In the process)
               -Open heart poem
               -Civilization II
               -Final Fantasy?
               -Theme Hospital
               -The Matrix and sequels (seen)
               -Animatrix (not seen)
               -A Clockwork Orange (seen)
               -The General (seen)
               -Modern Times (seen long ago :/)
               -A man with a Movie Camera (Seen)
               -Metropolis (fuck, uni-library had it without subtitles, in original German only *needs understandable copy*)
               -Star Wars (seen)
               -Bicentennial Man (seen)
               -A.I. (seen)
               -Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai (mancycle, the animation/sound machine and that baboon-character in general)
               -Cirque Du Soleil: Dralion (the juggler comes out of a mechanical insect)
               -Vanilla Sky (seen, may need to re-watch)
               -13th Floor (not seen)
               -Robots (not seen)
               -<URL:> (seen)
               -Contact (seen)
               -I, Robot (seen a while ago)
               -2001: A space Odyssey (seen a while ago)
               -Stainboy episode 4 (seen)
               -Mika Taanila's short/documentary films Optinen Ääni, Tulevaisuus Ei Ole Entisensä, Robocup99, Futuro, Thank You For The Music

               -Pink Floyd: Welcome to the machine
               -That really annoying song "Technologic" that sounds like a robot is singing...
               -The Futureheads: Robot
               -t.A.T.u: Robot
               -Deep Purple's album Machine Head?
               -Deftones: Engine number 9
               -Catch 22: Dreams Of Venus ("Just let go/just let go/just let go/Please don't feed the machine/One machine tells the other not to feed us/we only want more/we only want more")
               - The User, Printer music
               -Band called Secret Machines
               -Velvet Revolver: Quick Machines (Or "She Builds Quick Machines"? I heard Quick Machines on Yahoo!-radio but can only find lyrics to "She builds quick machines"...)
               -Roy Wood: Miss Clarke and the Computer
               -Queen: Machines
               -Kraftwerk: Man-Machine


The ideas for entries:

-Interactivity  Entry: "Love"
Was done for my second-year submission.
Was done for my second-year submission.
All the sci-fi machinic monsters gathered together to plan the utter destruction of humanity (they all always seem to fail when on their own >:P)
               -The Borg
               -Replicators from SG-1
               -Sentinels from X-Men
               -General Grievous (?)
               -More suggestions please.

-A japanese puzzle  Entry: "Solitude"
The 'colour-the-right-boxes' -type. Result is an image of a machine. Flash-programming to change a square from white to black and back with a click.
<URL:stuff/558MOSolitude.jpg> - no Flashing yet.
Replace the numbers with little engine-graphics. Will be interesting whether people will be able to do it.
-Technical how-tos
Warped, so the written instructions and the images don't match: text about fixing a machine, pictures about sex/dancing/relationships/etc... And vice versa, text about something human, pictures about engines (those things that have numbers on them, the explanation like "4. The soul" etc...)
-Dialogue (comic/animation/play/speech)
About the social progress that came with the railroad and locomotive. Hopefully many country's views, since it was a universal "homigosh"-moment when they invented the locomotive.
               -"We now do more work and see more society, acquire more knowledge, by personal observation, in one day of railway life, than we were wont to do in weeks of 'the good old time'." J. Scott Russell (some engineery person back then)
               -Juhani Aho: Rautatie.
               -"We discover the souls of the machine, we are in love with the worker at his bench, we are in love with the farmer on his tractor, the engineer on his locomotive. We bring creative joy into every mechanical activity. We make peace between man and the machine. We educate the new man." Dziga Vertov (cinematographer)
A person operating a machine (screens, buttons, levers, sounds, flashy lights etc...), another person in another room half-sleepingly responding as if s/he's being caressed (oohs and aahs and other sensual stuff).
-Image-sound collage
Thank the locomotive for peace in Europe -text read out loud when showing images of trainloads of Jews being carted to Auscwitz, etc trains-in-war pictures.
-Hrm, a kind of really really long animation?
Make a caledar (one of those where you see one day at a time), that will change every day. Every page will have a note (stuff that people write on their calendars... except maybe double-meaning, or deeper than normal stuff). It'd take the whole year to run through (like Gerrard's Fall or 1000 year dawn is programmed to take long time...) I'd also like the chance for people watching it to make their own note (character limit), but if it can't be arranged in Flash, it can always be a wiki.
This'd need humongous programming >.<
-? Picture?
I really want to make the entry "fuel" to be a rusty car in the desert. :P If I'm awesome, I could make a Zoom-quilt like deal of a desert road with all these fuel-less corpses of cars in there. And probably something like loveless people there too, making a statement like 'love is fuel' or stuff. But if no Zoomquilt-ness, I'll settle for a (digital?) painting.
- Animation or comic
"Someone always has it worse than you - pity the poor bugger who has it worst." A machine with all the parts being all emo and complaining, and the very last one just emo-defeats them all with how much its life sucks.
-'ASCII' - possibly animated
"Were you looking at the woman in the red dress?"
-Animation or interactive?
"All my faults". Picture of me with different parts explained (just like in those engine graphs) and criticised, coming to the conclusion that this unit is very outdated, faulty and unreliable.
A very smooth and graceful animation of cranes and other machines with long necks, and cranes and other animals with long necks.
-Animation  Entry: "Cyber"
Girl and boy talking over MSN with webcams.
Beauty and the beast -kind of stuff where the beast is a machine. The beauty dies and is reborn as a machine too, and they live happily ever after fixing each other.
-Animated or interactive character
"Artificial Intelligent" . A character design that talks pseudo intelligent bullshit. Dunno how to make it interactive (buttons about topics that it has meaningless opinions on? One of those replying bots would be awesome).


Half-assed ideas half-price
Some kind of usage of:
-Mechanic pokemon, digimon?
-Inventors and providers-of-gadgets (Gyro Gearloose, the one in James Bond... Quoties - Inventors)
-Quotes from droids and robots etc... (please submit!)
               -Star Wars
               -Trek (Borg, Data... any others?)
               -ORVIS (need an English version)
-Online patent listings
-Map of Coventry, Grey area indicated 'works' or industrial buildings. Also see <URL:> and <URL:;task=view&amp;id=85&Itemid=52>
-Backronyms... Things like S.O.U.L or E.N.G.I.N.E. or stuff. with uber-deep meanings and schtuff. :P
-Memoir/eulugy/funeral speech-thing for a machine.
-Windmill stands for Russian industry. Soviet leaders focused on making Russia industrially modern (<URL:>) after the Revolution of 1917. Joseph Stalin, in particular, drew up several "Five Year Plans," which plotted the tremendous growth of Russia's railroads, factories, coal and metal mines.
-Machine that doesn't break -> perfection
-In FF VII the plot begins with ShinraCo. using Mako energy as the fantasy mimic of electricity, but the problem is that Mako is the life-energy of the Earth. So in essense, Shinra was sucking the life out of the Earth to improve living standards. ([Aradon Templar]'s observation.)
-Radio-stuff reference pictures: Does it help, iippo?
- IT wizardry redefined
- Spy-machine thing (nazi-connection) Another one!
-Isi's helpful stuff (not available when Isi is away)
-Useful entries in the Urban Dictionary MO: urban dictionary
-Rage Against the Machine. Some pokemon are machines, and there is also an attack move called rage... But machine pokemon are usually steel type, and rage probably isnt very effective against it. o_O
-An S-chart can be used to describe the growth of anything (plants, spreading of something new, people accepting a invention etc...)
-Knowledge Traffic (direct translation of the Finnish word, tietoliikenne, which means telecommunications)
-William Blake despisedNewton's mechanised view of the world. Does this come apparent in any of Blake's works? Any machine-mockery poetry?
-Silicon chip

Possible names
-Encyclopaedia/Dictionary of Machines/Engines/Mechanics/something else?
-Konedex (kone = Finnish for machine, backronymable)

The words to be entries:
Intercourse (the locomotive stuff?)
Windmill (Animal Farm)
Robot (means worker)
Stainless (stainless steel, purity)
Love or L.O.V.E.

Username (or number or email):


2006-08-10 [Aradon Templar]: It got all imagery on me, like you were gonna show it to people at uni or something and be like, look at the artsy pwnage! :)

2006-08-11 [iippo]: Ah yeah, I kept linking people and they kept going "that wiki is so messy, I'm not bothered to read all that". So I tried to divide it a little clearer to make them see that they don't have to read all the things, it's in parts.
It's still a mess, though, now it's just an organised mess. X_x

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: *comments*

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Whee! Thankies. :3

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: Still don't understand what you're trying to do, though =/

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Several little animations in Flash, combine them into a big wiki-linky website thing that people can browse. Watch the little animations, some of them will be interactive... You know, like games and little Flash animations... People can watch and enjoy... and it'll also be Art. :D

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: Hm... and everything has to do with machines? Any kind of machines, both old, new, realistic and futuristic?

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Yes. Also speaking of machines figuratively is fine too, not necessarely literal machines. Like all my faults is a wiki where I'm building one entry, its imagery is all human-related, it's just being compared to a machine.

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: Huh, interesting. It's a very big project, isn't it?

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Yeap. But I dont intend to burn out. I'll figure out the main setting ([Isilando] is my helper-slave in that aspect), and then it's all down to doing the different entries in Flash, as many as I can manage is fine... But I'll keep doing this for fun after university too, so it'll be updating. Flash is so nice in that sense - it's small and light, all browsers like it, easy-to-use... the Flash-files will be like pictures on a wiki, really simple stuff, yet it'll look good and i'll learn loads about Flash for future.

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: I don't know anything about Flash. I just vaguely remember having heard the name before >.>

2006-08-17 [iippo]: It's all over the net. Almost any cool animation or little game online has been done in Flash. It's very adapting as a program - it understands internet-things, like linking and buttons and thumbnails, it works well with Photoshop and any normal image file-types, it can be used to draw, it handles the major soundfiles like wavs and mp3s, it can even deal with 3D-things somehow. And it can be made to understand some more difficult things too, if you know programming (I don't, but my tutor helped me with it a lot). It's a very useful and versatile tool.

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Yet you don't need to know how to work Flash to co-operate in this project. Flash is just the glue to put it together, the ideas are what matters.

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: Well, I'm horrible with ideas. Didn't I mention that I was having a slow week? =P

2006-08-17 [iippo]: Yeah. But now that you know of this project, you might notice machiney things and tell me about them. And that will help, having many eyes all over the world will be excellent for this project.

2006-08-17 [Elegy - gone]: I'll keep my eyes open for anything interesting ^_^

2006-08-30 [iippo]: Tempie, did the puzzle turn out to be impossible? ó_Ò

2006-09-02 [VeraAda]: Ah! Deftones - engine number 9! Deftones are amazing...

2006-09-02 [iippo]: My Yahoo!-radio also liked it and played it to me.

2011-05-26 [Mortified Penguin]: Neat.

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