- Andy Goldsworthy. Swan, one of the main characters of 2312, is an artist who produces works called “goldsworthies”with natural materials. This is a tribute to the artist Andy Goldsworthy, who creates “site-specific sculptures and land art.” Here’s one of many good YouTube videos of his work.
- Ascensions. Most of the travel in 2312 isn’t done in spaceships, but in hollowed out and terraformed asteroids called Ascensions. This is a reference to Ascension Island in the middle of the South Atlantic, which used to be a barren but which was transformed when Joseph Hooker (with encouragement from Charles Darwin) started to plant trees on the island, transforming the “cinder island” into a tropical cloud forest. It's in this vein that the asteroids in 2312 are transformed, and in fact many of them serve as sanctuaries for endangered and extinct-on-earth species (animal and botanical). Swan, as a goldsworthy artist, used to create ascensions in her early career, creating asteroids that mixed species from different areas (for example, both Mediterranean and Australian fauna).
Friday, June 29, 2012
In a follow up to yesterday’s post, here are two things that I’ve learned about by listening to podcasts of Kim Stanley Robinson talking about 2312: