Silver, metal, liquid, blue
February 26, 2016 3:14 AM   Subscribe

 
Yes, this is exactly what needs to be curated and archived. I will be devastated if, in 50 years, I can't look back at the weird sexy, latex filled, fisheye-lense vision of the impending Future that shaped my middle school pop culture landscape and derive the exact same frisson of joy that I get from collections of 1950s magazine housewives operating complicated kitchen computers to have dinner ready before Dad gets home.
posted by wakannai at 3:21 AM on February 26, 2016 [27 favorites]


I tried looking for this very thing a while back, mainly seeking examples of clear/translucent plastic used in electronics. This is awesome, and I'll always miss being able to get a game boy in translucent silvery blue.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:33 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


The clothing of the future has been shiny skintight plastic for longer than I've been alive. Now that it the 21st century and this is a thing people can buy and wear, it hasn't caught on -- we still prefer our cottons and wools.

It's still the clothing of the future, though.
posted by ardgedee at 3:42 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


finds stack of Mondo 2000 magazines in the woods
posted by thelonius at 3:46 AM on February 26, 2016 [22 favorites]


Those are some shitty fonts.
posted by PenDevil at 4:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


New imgur collection needed: TWEENS WITH GELLED-BACK HAIR
posted by duffell at 4:13 AM on February 26, 2016


I am 100% here for this aesthetic, but...what
posted by Gordafarin at 4:16 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


"this album is empty"
posted by infini at 4:22 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


In what universe was a Westlife album cover an example of 90s futurism?
posted by dng at 4:23 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


"this album is empty"

That would seem period appropriate.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:43 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


wakannai, I feel the same way about Memphis-Milano.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:44 AM on February 26, 2016 [3 favorites]




Oh, so this is where the orange-and-teal color-grading thing started.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:25 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Glad to see that Europe made their own version of the Pontiac Aztek.
posted by schmod at 5:42 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking of this, I watched a movie with Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari a few weeks ago. A guy (I think he was played by Jimmi Simpson) was wearing what looked snowboarding gear, wrap around shades with amber lenses and spiky frosted tips. It won't get more 2000 than that, and that awful movie should be saved in the Library of Congress for being a visual representation of the era. I don't know if this was a "rich douche" signifier or played straight, and honestly, it shouldn't even matter.

Anyway, I think there's some mixing up "futurism" with "lol shit people used to wear 20 years ago". Stuff like frosted spiky hair, cargo/snowboard pants and jackets, mono-colored athletic-looking gear, sleveless shirts for him and spaghetti tops for her (or layered cropped tops with transparent blouses) were just the fashion (or what was supposed to be cool) of the era, while leather has been "code" for badass for a long while.
Others, like wrap-around shades (with optional tinted frames and odd-looking frames), high-reflective or silver fabric and uncomfortable looking latex outfits were certainly looking more sci-fi ish because 2000, but they're not unique.

Also, an image dump isn't exactly an "investigation". There's a good idea lurking here, but it has to feature more than a bunch of promotional pictures from pop stars, stills from videoclips, dotcom era adverts/consumer electronics and movie posters presented without context. For instance, puffy, loose snowboard gear, was that an evolution from skater clothing as the Winter X Games started in 1997? And the plain colored cotton casual sports clothing, was a reaction against the highly patterned, walking billboard satin/polyester sports clothing of the early 90s? And the developments in image editing (particularly Photoshop and countless filter plugins) and desktop publishing, which allowed professionals a lot more liberty to experiment than in the airbrush/exacto knife era, how much of that played in the development of the quintessential Y2K design?

Shit. I feel like going to an anti-globalization rally now.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:48 AM on February 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's funny how much like the 80s this looks now, while, at the time, we were all so proud of having Aufgehebened out of all that or something. Maybe because Trent Reznor was smashing all the DX7 keyboards by then.
posted by thelonius at 5:54 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is just a thousand screengrabs from The Matrix.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:21 AM on February 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


See! this movie was good for something after all! (that and a great soundtrack)
posted by kokaku at 6:58 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel cheated, we got the cyberpunk dystopia we where promised but I thought we'd all be wearing better clothes.
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 AM on February 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


This era powered by Kai.
posted by davebush at 7:07 AM on February 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


POP QUIZ!

Which entertainment franchise will the future most resemble?

A) Star Trek (The Original Series)
C) 2001: A Space Odyssey
D) Silent Running
E) Logan's Run
F) Max Headroom
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:35 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


A) Star Trek (The Original Series)
C) 2001: A Space Odyssey
D) Silent Running
E) Logan's Run
F) Max Headroom


B) Brave New World
posted by slater at 7:46 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Man, I wish. The society of Brave New World had its shit together in a way we'll never achieve.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:02 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, eugenics aside it has all those orgies and drug parties were not supposed to like.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on February 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I cannot believe it's been eighteen years since Smile.dk released "Butterfly."

Then again, I still work with the cutting edge video technology of 1995 to produce shiny plastic discs to store and present standard-definition, inefficiently-encoded content.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:37 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh MAN this album is full of so much good nostalgia! Orgy's "Stitches" video is what immediately came to mind for me here.
posted by sc114 at 8:42 AM on February 26, 2016


It is sickening how many of these images I recognize and enjoy and think are still kind of contempo. I live in a world where Freezepop and Achewood are retro, where Go might as well be American Graffiti.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:43 AM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah the passage of time is still a thing
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


B) Brave New World

Yeah, despite the eugenics, as dystopias go, one could do a lot worse than the World State. If there isn't a lot of "freedom" as we might understand it ("the freedom to be unhappy" which the Savage demands), the World State is at peace, provides for its inhabitants, and is even humane in a roughly managerial fashion. Bernard and Helmholtz are sent to an island, not a Gitmo or a lethal chamber. We, OTOH, will be lucky if our future isn't Fury Road.

Re: '90s "futurism," to me, its pinnacle in the real US, as opposed to music videos and CD covers, was the VW Bug.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:05 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think a lot about what kids in the future will wear to 2000 theme parties; I hope they find this image set in their research.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:08 AM on February 26, 2016


I'm really pleased by the fact that Missy still looks AWESOME; that specific styling didn't turn into complete cheeseball over the last 15-20 years.
posted by redsparkler at 9:19 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


> "this album is empty"

> That would seem period appropriate.
> posted by Dip Flash


The future will be delivered via JavaScript, and I have the tools to make it pass over me, unbothered.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:49 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


F) Max Headroom
posted by Splunge at 10:41 AM on February 26, 2016


Needs more Designers Republic.
posted by exogenous at 11:52 AM on February 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I always thought of DR as being early-to-mid 90s. This aesthetic is more Tomato.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:07 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Needs more Designers Republic.

Upon seeing that an acid jazz/drums-and-bass track from deep in the back of my mind just woke up and did a frenetic little dance in my forebrain.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:09 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Quintessentially: a Matrix Winamp skin.
posted by davebush at 12:14 PM on February 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Pleasantly surprised Silent Running made LastOfHisKind's multiple choice list. Although it outwardly resembled 2001's space exploration milieu (it was Directed by one of 2001's Visual Effects guys), with the bonus of that one line from "Big Yellow Taxi": "Take all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum", it still rings semi-true; plus any universe that let Bruce Dern run around like a crazy person for a good cause, is somewhere I'd feel good living. I just hope people don't mistake it for The Running Man, which is extra dystopian for having both Schwarzenegger and Richard Dawson.

But the list could use a couple more options:
Star Trek (NextGen)
Blade Runner
The Fifth Element
and, of course, Idiocracy

Way back when I was in Middle School, 2001 was THE vision of the future, with some Jetsons reruns mixed in for good measure, but there was also the threat that the future would be decorated in Peter Max/Yellow Submarine-style psychedelia. Another futurism bullet dodged.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to listen to so many of these vaporwave albums.
posted by wyndham at 12:48 PM on February 26, 2016


I definitely want the future to be more like The Fifth Element. Remember that sweet makeup case Leeloo used? And the generally awesome clothing? AND THE ALIEN OPERA POP???

Alas, looks like we're heading into Idiocracy territory to me.
posted by k8bot at 1:18 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so, so happy that people are nostalgic for the late 90s aesthetic, because it means that the electroclash revival should be any day now.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:49 PM on February 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


the electroclash revival should be any day now

SOUNDS GOOD
LOOKS GOOD
FEELS GOOD TOO
posted by teponaztli at 6:12 PM on February 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


what a time to go through puberty. this object represents that era the most to me.
posted by scose at 1:43 AM on February 29, 2016


I looove this aesthetic. Mostly because I think it's shiny utilitarian gear, plus girls in baggy pants and crop tops always seems made for those who need to launch into combat and code at the same time. I still think I need more holographic clothes in my life. Destiny's Child in those orange crop tops is one of the first and most piercing images in my life, along with Missy Elliott, Aaliyah and Timbaland's cyberpunk aesthetics and sound.
posted by yueliang at 4:35 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I got a message someplace else from what I think is the author - who kept working on this, and now has a tumblr (updated very, VERY frequently), where each photo is annotated, which is a huge improvement.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:53 AM on March 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


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