Culture: Art: Visual
Latent etiolation messages   (+35)  [vote for, against]

Posters in sunlit shop windows become etiolated - all the inks fade until typically just blue pigments remain. This idea is to have subversive messages printed on posters, etc. which only reveal themselves at an advanced stage of etiolation.
-- hippo, Sep 18 2007 [hippo, Sep 21 2007]

Things like, "All burgers made of dog" and "We do horse kebab!" ?
-- theleopard, Sep 18 2007

-- zen_tom, Sep 18 2007

-- phundug, Sep 18 2007

"Keep away from direct sunlight"
-- DrCurry, Sep 18 2007

I love mysteries. make it a clue to some unsolved case or a treasure map.
-- dentworth, Sep 18 2007

So that's the word for it. I recently saw an old billboard showing a man singing, with his face a lovely shade of purple-blue. [+]
-- baconbrain, Sep 18 2007

For some reason I keep reading this as "latent ejaculation messages," at which point I would most definitely have to register a negative vote.

But this is fine. [+]
-- shapu, Sep 18 2007

cool...<fading bun> +
-- xandram, Sep 18 2007

yes, i think etiolation is underrated as an art-form. here's to acid *full* paper. +
-- k_sra, Sep 18 2007

[baconbrain] Just to note, 'etiolate' has two meanings. It means to make something pale (typically celery or rhubarb) by excluding sunlight, but also has a wider meaning, to make something pale (by any means). It's this latter meaning I'm using, so I can use it in this sense to make something pale through too much sunlight. Have you guessed yet that I really like the word 'etiolate'?
-- hippo, Sep 19 2007

I'm just about to use my own 'e'tiolate right now by deleting some old emails.
-- xenzag, Sep 19 2007

Is there a word 'etoilliate'? It might mean something to do with exposing photosensitive materials to starlight.

You could create your own subversive messages by smearing windows with messages in sunblock.
-- zen_tom, Sep 19 2007

[hippo], I had to look it up, 'cause I knew it had something to do with plants. Thanks.

'E toilated on the poster, ruining the colors.
-- baconbrain, Sep 19 2007

Bun for this idea, partly because of the use of "etiolation". Honorary bun for [zen_tom]'s annotation.
-- English Bob, Sep 19 2007

Thanks - Rather sadly, out of the tens of thousands of ideas here, there's only one other use of the word "etiolate", by the highly literary [General Washington].
-- hippo, Sep 20 2007

should we have an international "use the word etiolate day"?
-- po, Sep 20 2007

trying to work out the pronouncement of this word:

Etty o lay shun. never heard of it.
-- dentworth, Sep 20 2007

Technically speaking, etiolation (pronounced ee-tee-oh-lay-shun, Dentworth) refers to the phenomenon whereby light-starved plants lose their colour and become pale. The phenomenon of which you speak is, I believe, photobleaching.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 20 2007

[MB] - see my 19/Sept anno - the word can also mean just "to make pale", not necessarily due to lack of light.
-- hippo, Sep 21 2007

[Hippo] All the definitions I could find online refer to making pale by deprivation of light. However, I haven't checked OED, and you may well be right, in which case my apologies. Do you have a citation for the "non-plant-blanching" definition?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2007

[MB] See (linked) definition 2(a)
-- hippo, Sep 21 2007

[Anathema] read the link thoroughly, def. 2(a) clearly references "making pale" without reference to light.
-- DocBrown, Sep 21 2007

Hippo, I concede. (The definition 2a doesn't refer to light, but nor does it exclude it, Dr. Brown.) OED says "To give a pale and sickly hue to (human skin)", as one of its definitions. I guess the bracketed human skin is optional, so you can etiolate a poster by any means available.

However, it may be possible to create latent etiolation messages in the more common sense of the word. Etiolation is a reponse to light deprivation in plants (why expend energy in making chlorophyll?), but is almost certainly under some sort of regulatory loop. It should be possible to find a compound which would prevent etiolation. Then you could paint your message invisibly on a pot-plant and leave it in a darkened room until only the painted (etiolation-inhibited) area remained green. Perhaps secret messages could be written on the prairies of northern Finland, to be read only by aliens on winter holidays.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2007

[Anna Thema] "...suggests that the idea was only constructed to permit use of 'etiolate'" - yes, I know it sounds like that, but honestly it's not. It was the need to write 'etiolate' or one of its variants three times in the idea that made me realise that I liked using the word.
-- hippo, Sep 21 2007

... I see nothing wrong with constructing an idea around the use of language, as long as the outcome is inventive and worthwhile. There are many ways of generating new ideas. Starting with language is as valuable and valid a method as any other.
-- xenzag, Sep 21 2007

//out of the tens of thousands of ideas here//

Similarly, I'm still proud I am the author of the only galah related idea on the bakery. I say 'etiolate' away dear chum.
-- theleopard, Sep 21 2007

//Hippo, I concede. (The definition 2a doesn't refer to light, but nor does it exclude it, Dr. Brown.)//

Irrelevant, dear [MB]. The point is that exposure to light is not a defining feature of at least one definition of etiolation, thus [Hippo]'s usage is correct.

I don't see what [Anathema] is complaining about either: did it bother you that you had to go and look up the word to understand the idea? I did, but isn't learning weird new shit a great part of the HB experience?
-- DocBrown, Sep 22 2007

//thus [Hippo]'s usage is correct.// Errr, yes, I believe that's what I just said.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2007

Etiolation is a familiar word in the print industry.... actually not as much as I thought it was, though I do hear it being used by my printmaker friends in connection with archiving.
-- xenzag, Sep 22 2007

//Errr, yes, I believe that's what I just said.//
I know, I was just puzzled that you chose to point out that light wasn't specifically excluded from the definition - my original statement was that there was no reference to light, not that light wasn't a possible cause of the etiolation.

Apologies, I appear to be in a state of hyper-pedantism that be inappropriate even here.
-- DocBrown, Sep 22 2007

There's far too much etiolate talk round here now.
-- xenzag, Sep 22 2007

can't imagine why DocBrown is apologizing, this is about a word, and pedantism seems highly appropo.
-- dentworth, Sep 22 2007

Sp: apropos (unless you meant appro(po).)
-- csea, Sep 22 2007

How about a pop star poster for record store windows that reveals a message saying: "So, still happy you spend twenty bucks on this band's album?" +
-- doctorremulac3, Sep 22 2007

I think I get it.
Like when they put in the steamed milk to whiten the espresso and make etiolatte right?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 22 2007

Yup, that's right
-- hippo, Sep 23 2007

I knew it.

In You Face Flanders!
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 23 2007

random, halfbakery