If you lived here, you'd be really small
December 18, 2010 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Teeny tiny apocalypse.

Fine-art photographer Lori Nix built the 3-D scenes in her living room on nights and weekends with the help of an assistant, with each one taking anywhere from two to fifteen months to complete. They are about 20 x 24 x 72 inches small, and Nix then shot the dioramas on normal 8x10 film.
posted by rtha (23 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

Fuck, these are awesome. The detail in the tiny laundrymat and tree-filled library is insane.
posted by elizardbits at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2010

Wow, the tree-filled library is my favorite, must have taken ages!
posted by dabitch at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2010

These are pretty damn cool.

She built the 3-D scenes in her living room...each one taking anywhere from two to fifteen months to complete.

I'm envious of anyone with this kind of patience and attention to detail.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:43 AM on December 18, 2010

Those are great. Did weird things to the forward/back in safari, though.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:44 AM on December 18, 2010

I agree, the library is definitely my favorite. Amazing!
posted by garnetgirl at 8:44 AM on December 18, 2010

Is that a human(oid) figure in the shadows outside the laundromat?
posted by adamdschneider at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2010

Pretty sure those are zombies.
posted by rtha at 8:58 AM on December 18, 2010

And I forgot to add that I found this via daringfireball.
posted by rtha at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2010

This is amazing stuff, my shaky hands couldn't pull that off for any price...

I liked the part where "....Nix stated that, when she had finished photographing the scenes, she put little plastic army men in them and shot at them with a BB gun."

that's a lie, she didn't say that...
posted by HuronBob at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

my personal favorite.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2010

also: Previously
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:12 AM on December 18, 2010

Beautiful ruins.
posted by gallois at 9:28 AM on December 18, 2010

These are impressive, but the headline for the post is misleading - according to the article, the dioramas are two by six FEET... I'm not saying they're not detailed (and the photographs themselves are particularly good), but there are thousands of train enthusiasts who create this sort of thing on an even smaller scale all the time.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 9:36 AM on December 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Did weird things to the forward/back in safari, though.

It did in my firefox too. Fucking javascript shit. When are web "designers" going to realize that "back" functionality is more important than woohoo amazing web effects.
posted by DarkForest at 9:59 AM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Apologies for the misleading title. It's by far the teeniest apocalypse I've ever seen!
posted by rtha at 10:20 AM on December 18, 2010

This is a love/hate thing for me. I was a scale modeler, and have a stickler's eye for this sort of thing.

So yeah, the library is really cool, my favorite as well... But the longer my eye dwells, the more I see the flaws in the work.
  • the fallen leaves wouldn't be green
  • there should be 15-20 years worth of leaves under those trees
  • weathering on the walls far too even, where is the crumbling plaster/serious water damage?
  • I see maybe a dozen books, evenly scattered on the ground floor - this needs a couple of collapsed shelves, piles of fallen books
  • overall not nearly enough weathering on the books generally - looks like just primer and first colour coat, needs at least 2 or 3 washes for properly weathered look
  • where is the debris from the collapsed ceiling?
  • that top cornice, and the second floor balustrades, survived the ceiling collapse completely intact? Come on...
Yes, it is great. Yes, it's better than anything I've done. But really, it could easily have been so much better with slightly more attention to the tiny details....

posted by Meatbomb at 11:27 AM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

This was amazing. Calmed my nerves just to watch the video and flip through the photos. It gives me more faith in humanity that there are people who come up with the idea, "I'm going to build a very, very tiny diorama in painstaking detail, and then film them in such a way that they appear full-size." Beats the hell out of "think I'll start pilates" or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:31 AM on December 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Too much New Vegas - my eye keeps scanning for loot.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:53 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

The apocalypse depicted was brought on by an epic war between CSS, ad banner javascript, and slideshow javascript. As in all such battles, everyone lost.
posted by CaseyB at 1:34 PM on December 18, 2010

Teeny tiny Galaga, FTW!
posted by fartknocker at 2:29 PM on December 18, 2010

But really, it could easily have been so much better with slightly more attention to the tiny details....

Yeah, I felt somewhat bad about taking a look at the one with the broken roof and thinking "but if the roof's that damaged, shouldn't there be a lot more dirt and debris inside?" And then wondering how the dinosaur skeletons were supposed to have survived something that leveled the building they were in and brought the roof down - and where the debris from the rest of the building went. Gorgeously done, but they feel like mockups of theater sets for a play with a post-apocalypse setting rather than images of how the post-apocalyptic world would actually work.
posted by ubersturm at 4:59 PM on December 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think some of you are overthinking these a bit. They aren't intended as dioramas of the world gone south, as the OP and the blog suggests. The purpose of the dioramas is to suggest something else, something otherworldly and dreamlike. It's not about realism, it's about art.

Being about art and not reality, the artist gets to throw in some playful allegories. For example: the theater is full of ravens, the hall of dinosaurs is itself a fossil, the natural history museum has actual bears wandering from nature to stand in the spot where the bear diorama used to be, and the library is turning back into a forest (tree to paper to book to tree). I don't doubt that there are other ideas in there, but in these photos of the dioramas you can't pick out the detail. In the aquarium (which I am fortunate enough to see every day), there are all sorts of tiny details that you wouldn't see in a real aquarium. For instance, there are tidelines on the walls, seaweed and barnacles grow everywhere, there are a few books in odd places, Netpune's trident and an old fishing boot are on the floor. Things keep jumping out at you, and the tiny odd details give these works a fascinating, dreamlike feel. Imagine a public aquarium from the late 19th century museum building boom that gets inundated by tides twice daily. The aquarium itself becomes a tidepool, full of little tidepool creatures. What was built to house and display nature itself becomes nature. These are the ideas she works on, not whether or not real paint would peel a certain way.

These images that are linked are only telling a small part of the story. They just aren't big enough. If you ever get a chance to see these works in a gallery near you, you would see that there is a quality to the lighting on these photographs that causes them to glow. You really could stare at them for hours, and believe me, people do.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:27 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ohhh I LOVE Lori Nix! These are great. Her stuff just blows my mind. My own favorites from a while back: this accident scene and this astonishing underwater view.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:28 PM on December 19, 2010

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