Excellent world-building is a term usually used more for literary works and movies, but I can’t think of a better way to describe this interesting sci-fi art project called Project Astoria, by Todd Baxter.
“Test 01 is an introduction to the people, animals, and objects of the fictional Astoria System, the retro-futuristic backdrop of on-going multi-media exploration of dystopia and coming-of-age,” the artist says in his description of this work in progress.
Although Baxter’s primary work is in photography, I think these edited images blur the distinctions between photography and other forms of art. Some elements of the photos appear to have been done in camera, using matte painted backdrops or props, while others appear to have been combined from multiple photographs and illustrations in editing.
Some of the images are more traditional portraits, of youths wearing uniforms and costuming with a lot of knitted fabrics. A few of the other pieces are landscapes, which have an extremely atmospheric, unearthly quality. Most of the animals shown are like ones we have on Earth, such as deer and wild dogs; but there is also a giant, furry, horned creature called a snow ubi in one of the pictures. There are also elements of the buildings, spaceships, and other technology scattered throughout the scenes.
This series is a very cool idea, and I can’t wait to see more of Project Astoria.