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Ultraq's avatar

In the Embers of Dying Stars

My entry for the 'Time' art competition at unknown-prints.

I remember stories of a glorious civilization.
Of cities with spires that reached the sun.
Of a blue planet with vast seas.
Of people with myths of humanity everlasting.

Time: such a broad subject for this competition, and me without a clue for what to do. Funnily enough, the book I just borrowed from the library has a sort of time theme to it. Central to it's plot is a space-bound destructive force (an Omega), seeking and destroying any shape or form that doesn't otherwise occur in nature. Before the story begins, an omega is discovered heading straight for Earth, with an ETA of 900 years! (and my foresight probably only extends as far as the next Olympic games!) However, not too long after the initial scare, most of the world seems to have pushed the thought aside, citing that it's simply not their problem.

If you ask me, that's a pretty irresponsible attitude. For all our triumphs over nature, delegating our impending doom to some future generation seems a bit below par. However, when I look around, that appears to be the way of things: we spend too much time doing nothing now, just so we can do nothing later. So what will we do when the end of our own Earth becomes a certainty? When our planet's time comes - whether that be by the fires of a growing sun, the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, or the hand of God - will we have a solution?

Without having read too much of the book yet, this picture is my own interpretation of a seemingly related phenomena to the omegas. With the heads-up display showing graphs, words, and other related information so that it looks like some sort of futuristic screen, the motivations of the person behind the screen is best left to the imagination. Could it be someone looking at what will come their way in 900 years? Maybe it's just a student, 450 years out, gathering research material for their project? Or maybe inaction and procrastination have once again prevailed, 9 centuries have passed, and that person is coming to terms with their own mortality.

Of children who saw, in the embers of dying stars...

Even if we can't grasp the distance between now and eternity, I sure hope we can understand the value of the present, and learn to act sooner rather than later.

...the destiny of their race.

Maybe then when fate comes knocking, we can tell it to shove it, and assume our own future amongst the stars.

(book in question is Omega by Jack McDevitt, italicized lines taken from intro monologue of FreeSpace 2, different resolutions available from my website)

Download contains this wallpaper in the following resolutions:
© 2006 - 2021 Ultraq
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Bigfoot-Ti's avatar
IconOfSin24148's avatar are God-like at this stuff. (Nightmare24148)

Really, your artwork is my fav.
vcr89's avatar
ah, the usual genius work and insight. I jumped when I saw you had submitted something heheheh
When it comes to time and where we're headed as a planet, I think we're pretty screwed no matter what. From what I can tell, people are finally smartening up a little/taking more action, but we're a long way off. However, it might very well be natural causes that do us in. I'm a believer in a higher power and a heaven, so I can't say I'm overly concerned...just move on to better things. What will be, will be; why fight it? However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do our part to keep things good for those that come after us.
I really like what you've done with this one. Very unique, the whole viewfinder/teloscope/screen perspective. Adds a lot too it a story. Colours and depth are breathtaking, as usual
Ultraq's avatar
And I jumped when I saw you had commented on it :)
Thanks, as always, for your comments and perspective.
vcr89's avatar
a pleasure, as usual
dini297's avatar
oh great nice colorcombo
nice one keep itup
JLarenART's avatar
This is pretty cool and seems you put a bit of thought into it. Nice work ;)
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