Zoomable Images 14:
I, Robur: Master of the World
Many of Laffoley's enduring concepts are prophetically Incorporated into his earliest works.
This one is from the late 1960s and has all the usual themes - mega and nano engineering, physically alive architecture, energy devices, genetic engineering, transdisciplinary convergence, the UFO geometry, klein bottles and the Bauharoque / Utopic themes.
The painting is an homage to Paul's favorite sci-fi film, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', (which was based on 'Master of the World' published in 1904, one of the last novels by French pioneer science fiction writer, Jules Verne.) This is combined with Paul's first description of what they now call a 'space elevator' except extending all the way to the moon, and connecting the Earth to the Moon with a double-layer orbital geodesic-sphere around each planet. ~Miqel (Michael Coleman)
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This DeepZoom features the painting
"I, Robur, Master of the World"
Oil, Acrylic, Lettering on Canvas - 73 1/2 x 73 1/2 in.
Subject: Redesigning Part of the Solar System
Symbol Evocation: The Natural Link between the Earth and the Moon
Laffoley's Comments: "As we approach the Twenty-First Century, problems of managing the world seem to be emerging faster than we are able to solve them. Driven close to despair and distraction, architects and designers of the environment in general have become either bricoleurs, frantically trying to patch our reality as it comes apart at the seams, or prophets of doom traumatized by their own foreboding.
As in all problem solving, the solution lies first in determining the next highest context of the elements involved, and second in assessing the new possibilities that then appear. In the case of the earth, the next design context is the solar system, specifically our nearest neighbor both physically and mythologically-- the moon.
Therefore, I propose an earth-moon link-up through open space to form a simple, but gigantic motor. It would consist of double-layered geodesic spheres that rotate one within the other about ten miles off the surface of the earth and the moon. These friction machines could be constructed of a transparent living plastic and would be linked through space by a tube of the same material. The choice of a living material would mean that repairs would be self-generated and instantaneous. The orbit of the moon would drive the motor and provide all the energy ever needed.
The sphere itself could support an atomic train, able to stop at any point above the earth's surface and lower shipments; thus the time needed to distribute goods and services would be minimized. Filtering systems could be installed in the sphere to both clean the air and reclaim lost minerals, or even to add nutrients to the atmosphere.Next all vegetation around the world would be united into one giant plant, made to grow through the link tube and finally around the moon so that a natural human-sustaining atmosphere would develop there. All buildings and instrumentality would be physically alive. Violent or explosive actions and effects, like atomic energy, would be time delayed and slowed to the rate of human observation.
Finally would come the building of a flying saucer city- a new acropolis, the Urban Fossickated Octave. It would be a physically transformative environment circulating the earth and would take those on board those who wished to transit from the exoteric realm of knowledge to the mesoteric and through to the esoteric realm."
- Paul Laffoley
Poe, Verne, Wells, Marcuse & the return of Robur