Thursday, December 23, 2004

Babes in Space

William Stotler has a gallery of Babes in Space, covers of mainly 1950's era science fiction magazines.
The Babes in Space gallery was part of the Penn State Science Fiction Consortium Web site from May of 1997 to May of 1998. The entire PSSFC site was removed from the Internet by Penn State in May of 1998 due to lack of staffing.

William Stotler, the gallery's primary creator, currently hosts the site to serve researchers and fans of science fiction. The gallery, now, is in no way connected with Penn State--William Stotler is soley responsible for its content and its hosting.
As Stotler says on Cleaning up the babes for the Internet
Every image in the gallery took some form of digital manipulation to repair, correct, or improve. A good fifth of the images required extensive digital touchup with Adobe Photoshop. Six of the images had to be systematically rebuilt, meaning that I digitally recreated missing sections. You should never have noticed the difference when you were browsing through the gallery—as we intended. How long does this sort of thing take to do? The entire gallery's digital capture and enhancement was accomplished in eight-and-a-half grueling hours of detailed work.
What interest me about these pictures (besides my natural tendency towards prurience) is what can be shown. Most of these covers were published during the staid Eisenhower years. In the picture above, it's ok to show some skin and some interior(?) details. Only certain surface areas of forbidden.

Why is that? The excitement of sexuality is emotional. A close-up of a (pubic) hair follicle is not sexual. Yet it can't be shown. Nor can a close-up of even an unaroused nipple. Yet showing a submissive and presumably sexually available woman is perfectly fine.

No comments: