Neon Grids, Palm Trees, and Burnished Chrome: Tracing the Origins of the 1980s ‘Outrun’ Aesthetic

Neon Grids, Palm Trees, and Burnished Chrome: Tracing the Origins of the 1980s ‘Outrun’ Aesthetic

Speaker/Panel: Richard McKenna, K.E Roberts, and Michael Grasso

Retro stylings of the 1980s seem to focus on a combination of (often) complementary images: the ubiquitous laser grid; night-time streets awash in neon, often with the addition of palm trees, apocalyptic sunsets, and hints of the beach; and the polished chrome of a future haunted by replicants and cyborg assassins. 
But where do these visual motifs come from, how did they converge, and why do they so convincingly signal "The '80s" to contemporary audiences, including a generation born well after the Reagan era? On this panel, the editors of online Cold War-era genre/culture magazine We Are the Mutants will explore the origins of the “Outrun” and future noir aesthetics in sources as diverse as science fiction art and film, Cold War politics, retrofuturism, transhumanism, early computer graphics, music videos, advertising, and 1980s television. Join us for a highly visual trip into the now-mythic '80s – and beyond.

Event Properties

Event Date Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:30 PM
Event End Date Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:30 PM
Individual Price Free
Location Off World (Rotunda)
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