Monday, March 29, 2010

King of Kings

This is a rough sketch for my next illustration. I'll likely give it a few more passes before I'm happy enough to take it into Illustrator. Ozymandias is really only a loose inspiration for this one. Essentially, this piece is to show the ruins of a civilization lost in the distant future, think 10,000 years hence. Imagine a civilization that achieves a ubiquitous integration with technology: a singularity, that then utterly collapses. It would bereave the world of its knowledge, and leave only tattered reminders of what once was. Perhaps it would alter the natural world dramatically. Perhaps it would leave behind artifacts that still operated: their curious users, how they would be mystified by technology that they could not understand. perhaps it would seem enchanted to them. Would they know it was engineered by human hands? Would they lament the compendium of lost?

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

--Percy Shelley