ART THAT ADDS AN EX­TRA DI­MEN­SION

Scot Bendall gives in­sights on his art di­rec­tion for Ubik

Computer Arts - - PROJECT DIARY -

A TEST PAT­TERN FACE SIL­HOU­ETTE

“Melipone is a mys­te­ri­ous char­ac­ter who’s be­ing tracked by Telepaths, but his iden­tity is un­known, so they don’t know what he looks like. We left the face blank to rep­re­sent this, and so we weren’t giv­ing too much away. We imag­ined the scram­ble pat­tern around him as a kind of dig­i­tal aura. Usu­ally, auras would be vi­su­alised with colour and light, but I felt that man­i­fest­ing this as an elec­tronic glitch pat­tern would be more ap­pro­pri­ate to Philip K Dick’s text.”

B MAN IN HEX PAT­TERN

“This was an im­por­tant pas­sage for me, as it sim­pli­fies the com­pli­cated con­cept of be­ing able to en­vis­age a va­ri­ety of fu­tures and the abil­ity to choose one of them. Each cell rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent path of con­se­quences and is con­structed from the same el­e­ments – night, day and colour – but in each tun­nel the panel po­si­tions are shifted, so that none of the routes for­ward are ex­actly the same.”

C LIGHT BEAM BE­INGS “One of the char­ac­ters has a dream about be­ing vis­ited by sparkly be­ings who sur­round her bed. We wanted this im­age to feel like a sort of hal­lu­ci­na­tion, so it’s quite hazy and dream-like.”

D BIRD IN A WEB

“It’s an imag­ined scene within the book, but I was touched by the thought of a frag­ile bird caught within a web.” E FRAC­TURED FAIRY POSTER

“Through­out the book there are ref­er­ences to ad­ver­tis­ing-speak, and each chap­ter be­gins with a brief advertisem­ent for a dif­fer­ent form of Ubik. This sec­tion of the book refers to a TV ad­vert, but we thought that it would be in­ter­est­ing to see how a poster for the prod­uct may look. This im­age con­tains the only ref­er­ence to a spray can, but it’s only small in the hand of the fairy. Orig­i­nally, we were ex­plor­ing ideas that in­cor­po­rated a spray can more promi­nently, but ul­ti­mately we thought this could end up be­ing too de­scrip­tive. We in­tro­duced the brand colours of Ubik in the gra­di­ent on this page so it ties in later in the book with the Skull spray im­age.”

F SKULL GRA­DI­ENT FACE

“This is a key scene in the book, where the lead char­ac­ter is sprayed with Ubik just as he is about to die. The spray ul­ti­mately re­vives him, so we played with a graphic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of scene, with the skull rep­re­sent­ing death and the hu­man face in the spray rep­re­sent­ing life. The colours of the gra­di­ent in the spray shape ref­er­ence the Ubik ad­vert ear­lier in the book.”

“One of the char­ac­ters has a dream about be­ing vis­ited by sparkly be­ings who sur­round her bed…”

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