In the previous post, I showed page 100 of ‘Continuum’, a work in progress. It’s a comic book in which “Albert Einstein takes a young George W. Bush on a journey through space-time and philosophy.” The page illustrates 60 of the key figures in the history of philosophy, science and mysticism, with several key figures from the hard sciences included (those whose breakthroughs changed the perception of reality). I drew the figures so that each seemed to walk into the one following, using the classic ‘contact/recoil/passing/high-point’ method in traditional animation. Although they were never meant to be animated, I was curious to see what they would look like, if superimposed upon each other:
Drawing these 60 figures took between 2 and 3 months.
The figures in the list are:
Indus Valley; Sumeria and China (all ~3300 BC); Pythagoras (570–495 BC); Socrates (469–399 BC); Plato (423–348 BC); Aristotle (384–322 BC); Ptolemy (90–168 AD); Plotinus (204–270); Augustine (354–430); Aryabhata (476–550); Al Farabi (872-951); Al Hazen (965-1040); Al Ma’arri (973-1058); Avicenna (980-1037) ;Al Ghazali (1058–1111); Averroes (1126–1198); Maimonides (1135-1204); Grosseteste (1175–1253); Roger Bacon (1214–1294); Aquinas (1225–1274); Ockham (1288–1348); Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406); Copernicus (1473–1543); Francis Bacon (1561-1626); Galileo (1564–1642); Kepler (1571-1630); Descartes (1596–1650); Locke (1632–1704); Spinoza (1632–1677); Newton (1642–1727); Leibniz (1646–1716); Berkeley (1685–1753); Voltaire (1694–1778); Hume (1711–1776); Kant (1724–1804); Hegel (1770–1831); Mill (1806–1873); Darwin (1809–1882); Nietzsche (1844–1900); Freud (1856–1939); Husserl (1859–1938); Whitehead (1861–1947); Curie (1867–1934); Russell (1872–1970); Jung (1875–1961); Einstein (1879–1955); Korzybski (1879–1950); Eddington (1882–1944); Eddington (1882–1944); Bohr (1885–1962); Schrodinger (1887–1961); Wittgenstein (1889–1951); Heisenberg (1901–1976); Karl Popper (1902–1994); Von Neumann (1903–1957); Godel (1906-1978); Franklin (1920-1958); Mandelbrot (1924-2010); Sheldrake(1942-).
A quick note: several people have commented that there are only 2 women in the list – implying a bias (conscious or unconscious) on my part. I actively tried to find female figures who were not examples of mere tokenism. Please remember that I am not responsible for the condition of women’s rights in Periclean Athens, Late Antiquity, Medieval Europe – or 20th century Europe/America for that matter. I removed Watson and Crick from the lineup, replacing them with Rosalind Franklin. I’d have added Jocelyn Bell (for the discovery of the pulsar), had the line been more relevant to astronomical discoveries.
Secondly, the list specifically deals with the “infuriating dialectic” between science, religion and mysticism – there are very specific figures in this story (for example: Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Avicenna, Averroes, Al Hazen, Al Ma’arri and Al Ghazali). I’m not discriminating against women, neither am I discriminating in favour of people whose names begin with the letter “A”. This historical record is what it is, and I don’t currently possess a history reset button. But when I get that button, y’all better watch out, because where we’re going, we won’t need roads.
All that said, hope you find the animation interesting. If I had enough time, I could properly animate this, adding the inbetween poses, and smoothing out the walk poses (remember, they were never meant to be seen like this!) Sadly, time is short, so barring a viral kickstart campaign, it’s not going to happen.