This is expanding on some thoughts I’d had about the chunky analog look of 70’s-80’s (mainly) science fiction, and how in hindsight it feels different, not dated (or not JUST dated), but kind of stranger, making science fiction of the past. This is mostly me just vomiting things that come to mind, so if any of you have any thoughts or think of something that fits, feel free to add.
I’ve heard some of what I’ve described below as “analogpunk.” I’m hesitant to call it that since the whole “something-punk” thing is pretty asinine at this point, but it does capture at least some of what I’m thinking about here.
A few of the things that seem to fit this look/feel I’m talking about:
The look of the Nostromo in the original Alien movie. Also the apparent attempt to emulate that look demonstrated in this alpha-footage video for Alien: Isolation. There’s also this alpha footage for a game called Routine that goes for a similar style.
THX 1138, its sterile white walls and grainy monitors, the sound design. A lot of sci-fi films from this era would fit too.
80’s era David Cronenberg, Videodrome especially, with it’s McLuhan-inspired musings on technology. ”Your reality is already HALF video hallucination. If you’re not careful, it will become TOTAL hallucination. You’ll have to learn to live in a very strange new world.”
Darrenofsky’s Pi, particularly Max’s apartment full of computer equipment.
Some of Chris Marker’s work. Level 5, the short film 2084.
The look of certain Terry Gilliam movies, like Brazil and 12 Monkeys.
The enormous monster computer Lain builds in her bedroom in Serial Experiments Lain. The real world room-sized monstrosities kept cool with liquid nitrogen.
For something a little brighter, a comic by Boulet, “Formicapunk.”
That Computer Chess movie from last year.
Charlie Tyrell’s music video for Harrison’s “Akira.”
Analog Cyberpunk, both in name and sound.
Synthesizers. Tape manipulation/Delia Derbyshire feels relevant somehow too.
This Russian spacecraft simulator.
This post from highway62 about old fashioned computer game piracy, where he at one point says “this sounds like science fiction but it all happened.”
Grainy video feed, scanlines, hissing and crackling tape, washed out black and white, TV fuzz. The buzz of high tension wires. Media struggling against limitations. The internet in its earliest form.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just a weird manifestation of 80s nostalgia, but I think there’s something interesting here.