Megan Prelinger On Art, Advertising, and Outer Space
This is by far my favorite talk I've seen all year. Megan Prelinger, co-founder of the amazing Prelinger Library in San Francisco, and author of the book Another Science Fiction, gave this enthralling talk at BoingBoing's Ingenuity event on August 18th. The topic: the history of man's journey to space, as told through the unique lens of commercial art. In both her book and this talk, Prelinger chronicles the creative stylization of science and technology as new concepts were brought to the public eye, from the structure of an atom to vacuum tubes and the very first computers. The marriage of art and science in advertising and graphic design was a complex relationship, bearing creative interpretations that ranged from fine art to the abstract and even surreal. My favorite anecdote is how artists were challenged by the concept and aesthetics of early computers, and struggled to portray the relationship between information technology and space exploration. One solution: using more appealing visual metaphors, such as the abacus.