on the beach 1

Sydney April 2013 (2 images)

In a way the above photo reminds me of the closing scenes from The Planet of the Apes (1968). In the year 3978, astronaut Taylor has escaped the apes, and on horseback catches sight of something on the beach. Overcome with grief he falls from his horse and collapses on the ground, screaming to the sky. The camera pans out to show the remnants of the Statue of Liberty. He understands now that he has been on Earth the whole time, and the orangutan Dr Zaius was right. Humanity did destroy itself and apes became the dominant species. His final words…

“Maniacs!! You finally blew it all up!!!” Taylor screams in despair. “God damn you all to hell!”

I wonder what his reaction would have been if he’d seen this Rubik’s Cube instead. A scream of terror maybe. πŸ™‚

on the beach 2
Sydney March 2014

For decades a concrete block, a cover for a storm water drain has been in place on the beach. Sometime in the middle of the night in December 2008 two artists and a third “police look out” transformed the concrete block into this giant Rubik’s Cube. And it has remained ever since. In fact, this second photo shows that someone is actually maintaining it, repainting the chipped areas. I thought it was actually a piece of commissioned art for the beach. Then I read about it and my perspective changed. I went back and had a look. The top is a giant vent covered by a grate.

Both photos were taken in autumn, almost a year apart. It looks like nature with help from the local council has been building up the sand line. Note how the storm drain looks almost completely covered by sand in the second photo.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

On the beach

Image

91 thoughts on “On the beach

  1. The first image is really playing with my mind as far as scale and perspective are concerned (not having seen it in person) – the cube and the stairs almost look like miniatures matted into the seascape – of course the sky is playing a large part in the drama of the shot. Very good capture of this – one of your best.

  2. When you look at the second photo you think how could they just plop a giant cover for a storm water drain in the middle of the beach, but when you go back to the first photo…then it begins to sink in. What a great way to disguise a stone ogre. It does look prettier and cleaner in the second photo. I would have loved to be in the beach in the second year…thanks for sharing the lovely photos!

  3. Gol-LY, LD … This is amazing stuff. I’ve never heard of this before; and you’d think someone would’ve picked it up (so to speak) as an item of real interest … you know, those little bits stuffed into the news as a filler …
    Amazing perspective, and something to completely fool the eye.
    The way the beach has filled is almost weird … I mean, those steps are GONE. How come our beach is filling up? – I thought beaches emptied out … :-\

    • On occasions, I have seen bulldozers on this beach and others, redistributing the sand, perhaps even adding sand. I guess there’s an active policy of maintaining the beach against erosion.

      • Oh! In a way, I’m relieved to hear it, LD. I simply couldn’t work out such transformation …
        And I imagine they may be right.I understand local councils have occasionally been known to be …

  4. The Rubik’s Cube is kinda cool looking and an interesting way to cover a vent. As for the scream of terror, it could be worse – an effigy of Justin Bieber, for example.

  5. I think Charlton Heston would have cried, “I can’t solve this stupid puzzle! Where’s a geeky 12 year old monkey when you need one!” At least that’s how I would have written the end. Or maybe the hand of the Statue of Liberty holding the giant Rubik’s Cube…. ok…I’m done now. Nice images. πŸ™‚

  6. tara cooney says:

    If only there were more act’s of art like this – transforming objects into new works that bring a bit of wonder into our day!

  7. wow, I really held my breath over the apocalyptic intro…:) this cube is so surreal on that beach,…love the first one very much, the stairs are such a wonderful detail… lovely color shots πŸ™‚

  8. Bravo. The cube reminds me of the obelisk from 2001 A Space Odyssey. The options available with the Rubiks cube are a lot more promising than the one hinted at by the one in Kubrick’s movie. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Beautiful shots! The first one is dramatic with all the clouds and wave action – I can’t stop looking at it. Not to mention, I’ve always loved the Rubik’s Cube.

  10. Planet of the Apes was a fascinating but very spooky movie. I must have been too young to watch it. πŸ™‚ That Rubik’s Cube idea for the concrete block is fantastic, such a smart and creative solution. Lovely photos, and quite different because of different weather. It’s interesting how in the second photo the sand level is much higher.

  11. I love the idea about the transformationn of the concrete block into a Rubik’s Cube. The game about the spatial thinking, to learn yourself to see things from a different angel. First shot has captured me. Great colors and position of the camera. And… probably a creature will look for the answer of the cube – in 3978. Message from gods, colors, 42 – who knows, but at least will make them think, apes or humans eh… unusually πŸ™‚

    • Maybe I should go late at night and scratch in “Draco was here”. That’ll really make them puzzled. πŸ™‚

      In 3978 will they think we were gods, or morons? I’m left to wonder. πŸ™‚

      • :)) That will definitely make them puzzeld! They will make a committee meeting, then second and so on to the institute after thousands of years. Your inscription could be the grain of a cultural revolution πŸ™‚
        or..
        there’s no place to wonder – they will definitely think we were nothing else but morons..

  12. I love Hitchcock and watch them (b&w tv) when young – The Frozen Death!
    Rubik’s Cube is paper weight for me.
    At first, I had the silly thought that you planted the cube in the photos, they do look out of place at such humongous size not to mention on a beach, lol…
    But the level of sand in the second photo is astonishing! Does the sand level change like tide? Amazing photos and new knowledge for me – storm drain.
    I like both photos as they have unique feel each but the Rubik’s Cube fits right at home in the second photo πŸ˜€

    • So you’re an expert in the horror genre. πŸ™‚
      The block is about 5 feet high.
      The local government is actively maintaining the beach. A couple of times I’ve seen bulldozers moving the sand around, maybe even adding it to some areas.
      Thank you. πŸ™‚

  13. LB says:

    What a surprise these photos are! At first, I thought it was two different Rubik’s Cubes. That shoreline has definitely been built up, hasn’t it?

  14. This is fun – what a clever idea! πŸ˜€ And I can see what you mean about comparing it to The Planet of the Apes, it is a bit like that! Makes a very striking picture! πŸ™‚

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