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Amoeba Man
Professor
Level 6: 1335 points
Alltime Score: 2059 points
Last Logged In: May 14th, 2015
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15 + 14 points

Forced-éjà vu by Amoeba Man

July 24th, 2012 6:21 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Make a pedestrian or prosaic gesture which produces a physical artifact. Spill some milk. Crumple a newspaper. Open a book to a random page.

Produce an artifact identical to the first one, but deliberately. Pour (or eyedropper) milk to get a puddle of the exact shape and size as the first one. Crease a second newspaper with the exact creases of the first. Close the book and keep opening it and closing it until you find that same page.

Document, please!

I've been letting the Game down lately. In spite of a totally rad four part completion (start here!), I followed it up with a totally lackluster completion of "The Unexpected" that doesn't even deserve to be linked because it doesn't even deserve your votes. I'd unsubmit it, except that I believe making mistakes to be so fundamental to the human experience that I'd rather leave it as a testament to laziness and a reminder to not do that anymore. 'Sides which my totally rad four part completion (start here!) ended on a totally bogus flat note, a perfunctory completion of a task that could have been cool.

So! That in mind, I set out to nail this task, inasmuch as possible, because Mom and Pop Amoeba Man didn't raise no lackadaisical lazybones. Now, one thing I've got plenty of around the Amoeba Lair is paper. It finds its way into everything, forming messy little stacks all over my desk and generally cluttering until its semi-regular pruning back to reasonable levels.

So I grabbed a sheet of paper, looked at this task, and crumpled it up.

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But that wasn't enough.

So I grabbed another one and crumpled that up too.

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But that wasn't enough.

So I tore them up.

But that wasn't enough!

So I threw them on the floor.

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But THAT! WASN'T! ENOUGH!

So I picked them up, dropped a towel on the floor, and threw them on top of the towel.

main_sam0320106375.jpgmain_sam0296106364.jpgBUT IT WASN'T ENOUGH! IT'LL NEVER BE ENOUGH! IT'LL NEVER FILL THE VOID! I USED TO BE SOMEBODY! I USED TO BE IN CHARGE OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF EQUIPMENT!

BACK HERE I CAN'T EVEN HOLD A JOB PARKING CARS!

ARRRGH!

EMOTIONS

I CAN'T EVEN

UHHHHGH

So I dropped an empty Coke can on it.

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That was enough.

So, now the fun begins. First, I need to reassemble the crumpled sheets of paper. Then I need to trace the folds on each so that they can be accurately transposed to another sheet of paper. Then I need to do the same for the tears. Then, once that's done, I need to carefully fold and tear two sheets of paper so as to produce identical shreds. Then, I need to put the towel on the ground in the same position it originally fell. Once that's done, I have to use the photo to place the shreds of paper in exactly the places they fell. Finally, I have to carefully place the empty Coke can where it landed the first time.

If you think of it like self-flagellation for getting lazy and uninspired on my previous two tasks, it's not really all that bad.

Step one- reassemble the pieces.

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This was time consuming, but not as difficult as it initially seemed. Like any other puzzle, once you worked out the edges, the rest fell pretty cleanly into place. The trouble was that I was dealing with two sets of functionally identical edges, so separating them out into their proper groups was by far the most difficult part. The bits didn't reassemble perfectly, but I got pretty close, and I call that a win. I chalk this up mostly to having torn the pages together, but with the holes (it was looseleaf) on opposite sides. So I wound up with more or less mirror images. As the edges came together this made things easier and easier, but in the middle, the proper sheet for certain pieces wasn't immediately obvious. Still, I got pretty close.

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Once that was through, I had to work out where the tears fell, and make new ones along those lines. My S.O.P here was to take a piece, put it in its appropriate place, trace it, and then tear along those lines as best I could. Success levels varied, some were almost dead-on, some weren't. A few are documented below. There were a total of 28 pieces, 14 to a sheet (natch).

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So by now I had all the scraps as close as I could get them. I decided to not try and emulate the creases because I'd be here to the end of my natural lifespan. All things besides, in the end, you'd probably never be able to tell. I tried to match up major folds and tears where I could, but all in all, it was pretty slapdash with the creases.

I moved on to the towel. This was, frankly, the most difficult part, because emulating the shape of a fallen piece of cloth is hard. It folds and bunches on a level below the most immediately visible one, giving the whole thing a secondary topography that's hard to match. Trying to deliberately place the towel in the position it landed was nigh-on impossible. The fact that this was hard to match made placing the pieces later much more difficult, since the nature of the way they fell depended heavily on the shape of the towel.

I gave it a whirl. As someone much wiser than I once said, "I tried, and therefore, no one can criticise me". Really, I think I kinda got the basic shape (sort of a circle with a sweep on either end). Reviewing it later, it doesn't look quite as good, and a side-by-side comparison outs it as being not as close as I thought, but at the time I figured it looked pretty good.

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With that done, I had but to arrange the pieces of paper and the Coke can. I actually think I got the shape of the paper pretty close- that little rough triangle above the coke can with the little splinter jutting out across it, the band right through the middle, the spikes on the far right- I think I got it alright.

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Now, time to place the can.

This got tricky. See, originally I just dropped the can, and it settled into the contours of the towel pretty naturally. Contours that now, regrettably, did not exist quite as well. So getting it into just the right angle was rough.

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I was prepared to just leave it, but then I thought "No". I was fed up with myself for being lazy, and in finishing tasks with pithy little completions that went up to the letter and no further. Two tasks I'd done in the simplest, laziest ways I could possibly manage, and that was two too many. I'd had this problem back in Interregnum, and I was in no hurry to return to that state.

I dropped that Coke can a certain way, and by the hairy twin scrotums of Zeus and Hades, I was going going to put it back that way.

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...Close enough.

This made me really sit back and consider how I approached the game in a lot of ways. I'd watched myself slip into apathy more than once just for the sake of completing a task and getting some quick points- I even used the addiction to SF0 as a gag completion for my Fortress of Solitude task back in the day. Was It happening again? Were the good completions just flukes?

Did I still have "it"?

...

Eh, probably.

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