Part of a series of images from the liquid metal, carb0-plastic, hydrogel and permacrete core of visual creators on the Internet. Images that stir my senses and evoke plots and concepts for what I’d like to see (or fear) in the future.
On the surface it’s just a gritty street thug welding two guns in blissful, narcotic and booze fuelled, re-enactment of some scene in a movie or console game. This could be anywhere today. But look a little closer. No gang tattoos. The man’s face is as cold and immobile as granite – not a wild-eyed sneer of delusional glory in sight. The guns are well-maintained, high-end manufacture but not customised; easy to dispose of. The skin of those hands is possibly smeared in a quick drying gel to seal away DNA imprinting. And the blur speaks of potentially enhanced synaptic responses; a nervous system laced with graphene allotropes, the chemical inserted through nano-clusters grown to plunge along blood vessels and sink through flesh and muscle tissue to find the correct bonding sites. A frenzy of limited self-replication. The agony of nerve fibres burning in a storm of biochemical re-engineering at the molecular level. All of this via a slap-patch or pen-like needle stab a few moments before the conflict occurred. The quickened reaction time enables the killer to sight both weapons correctly in what could be the blink of an eye. Bang bang. You’re dead. Killer sinks back into the context of the urban environment he’s selected to take down his target. A bare-chested thug. No heads turn. Weapons tossed away – unused bullets retained. It’s all over before anything had the chance to begin.
Yet another stunningly simple and powerfully evocative image from Danielle Tunstall.
It also makes me think of the semi-professional street gangs and paid-thugs I introduced into my cyberpunk thriller novel, Iron Man Project. The sweltering oven and poverty of the Southern Euro Zone, where organised-crime syndicates conscript anyone willing to carry a gun and use it; and in turn, these clusters of armed men covertly hired by corporations to fight dirty wars on public streets.
Danielle Tunstall has a vast repository of images she’s created and showcasing on her website, definitely worth a look if you’re into the darker side of Cyberpunk, verging on horror, smeared in blood and infection.
- Danielle Tunstall website.