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Another space story, this time a space opry saga in the style of 2001 Space Odyssey. The scene unfolds on… tardigrades?


Embarking on the long journey, tardigrades in space generated by NightCafe AI art generator
Embarking on the long journey…

J-53-K-236001 didn’t understand why things weren’t evolving as usual.  It had come this far before time stopped and the world froze.  What was it supposed to be?  Was it a fish or a bear or a bug?  What were fish or bears or bugs anyway?  Nothing that J-53 knew.  No matter.  It had once been forming little appendages but those were sucked back into its body along with its head and other defining characteristics so that it less resembled an organism and now more resembled a bloated solid bubble or a pebble or a droplet of oil in water but in a less translucent form.  It would have concerned itself more with its current state of being but its consciousness was in a sort of suspended animation as well.  So none of that mattered.

There had been big roaring oafish creatures that might have registered as moving mountains or minor demigods but the scale of something like a mountain was already too far beyond J-53’s understanding.  J-53 knew water and other creatures like J-53 and smaller more edible creatures and warm and cold and light and dark and space and time and everything and nothing…  The mountainous machines, mechanizations and masterminds also didn’t matter.

Taking notice of themselves, the tardigrades turn to face the camera, artwork generated using NightCafe AI art generator
Taking notice of oneself…

The rocket ship stayed its course.  Everything was engineered and going according to plan.  Life was on its way, careening through space at the most opportune moment to make the long journey.  The tardigrades were hardy creatures, in stasis for the trip, among the only things that could endure the harsh conditions.  Would they come out of suspended animation once they were supplanted on Mars?  That was the hope anyway.  But the conditions there were still cold, dry and iffy at best, despite the introduction of water, and it was unlikely.  But it was the thought that counted, or at the very least, the effort.  That was what the funding dictated.  Life on Mars, in some form anyway.  What really mattered was the research, and the returning probe would be worth its weight in gold…

Unbeknownst to both the scientists and the tardigrades, a reverse infusion of life was already on its course towards the Earth, bringing with it its own frozen catatonic being from Mars.  It had managed to infiltrate the probe that was now returning, bringing pictures and samples and data and specimens that would be considered dust if not for the fact that it was in its own state of suspended animation, registering as nothing more than particulate matter among the rest of the debris.  It too was in stasis, between existences and paused between space and time.  It, like J-53 and the other tardigrades, seemingly had no knowledge or understanding of its importance or its path – or did it?  The Mars dust stirred and awakened to its new reality…

Tardigrades in space smiling like Lovecraftian gods, generated by NightCafe AI art generator
Cthulhoid tardigrades wait in space in their infinite cuteness

If you need more space, feel free to check out more Haunted MTL weirdness by Jennifer Weigel:

C-2747 Logbook

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Drive-By, an Alien Encounter

Space-Time Poetry and Art

And feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

Original Series

AI Journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 2

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Continuing our AI journey from last time exploring Little Red Riding Hood herself as the Big Bad Wolf… All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva.

Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf, Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023
Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023

How very… Phantom of the Opera predatory… this is definitely not what I had in mind. Maybe something more cutesy?

Little Red Riding Hood woman with wolf head instead of her own, Anime V2 style, Aug. 1, 2023
Anime V2 style, Aug. 1, 2023

Ugh. Maybe not.

Wolf face peering out of red hooded cape, Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023
Sinister style, Aug. 1, 2023

Wow, that seems like such a cop out, cropping off the head so you don’t have to depict it. And I don’t want to lose the Little Red Riding Hood reference completely.

Wolf in sheep's clothing as Little Red Riding Hood, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

So no surprise there, I knew that was too many references to work.

And we continued to devolve, join us again next week for the final installment to see how this ended… And again, if you want to catch the last AI art journey, you can find it on Haunted MTL here.  To see more such devolutions into AI generated art, check out the Will the Real Jennifer Weigel Please Stand Up? blog.

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AI Journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 1

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And as promised in Big Bad Poetry, we shall embark on our next AI journey, this time looking at Little Red Riding Hood. I had wanted to depict her as the Big Bad Wolf one and the same, although maybe not so big nor bad. But it just wasn’t happening quite as planned. All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva.

Little Red Riding Hood beautiful woman with red cape hiding her wolf face.  Sinister style, July 29, 2023
Sinister style, July 29, 2023

So I actually like this even better than my original vision, it is playful and even a bit serene (especially given the Sinister style). The wolf is just being a wolf. It’s quite lovely, really. But it wasn’t what I had in mind, so I revisited the idea later to see if I could get that result…

Little Red Riding Hood with wolf face, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

Well, that’s not quite right…

Wolf face Little Red Riding Hood, Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait style, Aug. 1, 2023

Yeah more of the same…

What part of wolf face don't you understand?, Hyperreal style, Aug. 1, 2023
Hyperreal style, Aug. 1, 2023

And as you can see this is starting to devolve quickly. Join us again next week to see how this continued to develop… And if you want to catch the last AI art journey, you can find it on Haunted MTL here. To see more such devolutions into AI generated art, check out the Will the Real Jennifer Weigel Please Stand Up? blog.

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Nightmarish Nature: Horrifying Humans

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So we’re going out on a limb here in this segment of Nightmarish Nature and exploring one of the most terrifying, most dangerous, most impactful species to walk this planet. I’m talking about us of course. Sure, as humans, we may not seem all that horrific to ourselves, but to many other creatures we have been a force of nightmares.

Humans male as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Humans male as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

Why are we terrifying?

Humans are among those species that engage in massive modifications to our environment to serve our needs, like beavers who dam rivers, elephants who eat all of the new growth scrub to keep the savannahs tree-free, and so on. Yeah, all creatures have some impact on their surroundings, but some take it up a notch, and we do so at an order of magnitude higher still. And we have gotten so good at it that we have managed to exist and thrive in places that would otherwise be inhospitable. We are outwardly adaptive and opportunistic to the point of being exploitative. We are the apex predators now.

Sabertooth cowering as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Sabertooth cowering as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

We have forced many creatures into extinction, intentionally and not, and have sped up these effects enormously. The National Audobon Society chose the egret as its symbol after it made a comeback from being hunted to near extinction, and it was one of the lucky ones. Many weren’t so lucky, especially if they came in direct conflict with humans, such as wolves and the big cats who were in direct competition, or those who were really specialized in really specific niche circumstances that we pushed out of the way. And this is in only a very very limited scope of our earth’s history, and has since been even more ramped up with industrialization.

Humans female as drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Humans female as drawn by Jennifer Weigel

But humans aren’t all bad are we?

Depends on who you ask… We have created all sorts of incredible opportunities for some species too. Take mice for example. And coyotes. And kudzu. And a whole host of animals whom we’ve domesticated, some of whom wouldn’t have continued to exist otherwise or certainly wouldn’t exist in anything resembling their current forms. And the most massive extinctions occurred long before our arrival, when the earth was still forming and underwent rapid catastrophic changes and swings, decimating critters as they were trying to get a foothold. Nothing is constant except for change; that has always been true.

Wolf begging for cheezborger drawn by Jennifer Weigel
Wolf begging for cheezborger drawn by Jennifer Weigel

So it isn’t my goal to get all eco-con​scious and environmentalist here. Just that I feel if we are going to explore some of the more terrifying aspects of nature, we need to look in the mirror. Because if a consensus were taken right here, right now of all living beings globally as to what is among the most terrifying creatures among us, I’m sure we’d appear on that list.

If you enjoyed this closer-than-kissing-cousins segment of Nightmarish Nature on Horrifying Humans, please check out past segments:

Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

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Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

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Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

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