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1
I don't think this was exactly cutting edge in 1990 either - I had toy (the etch-a-sketch animator) that could do slightly more complex animations than this in 1986.

I would assume the animations are intentionally minimalistic. They also mimic the LED information displays you tend to find in places like train stations (times, stops, etc. - some of our buses still have them), making them a bit of a riddle to passengers - why is this display showing an animated face rather than the time?

This is not to say I'm crazy about them - I think they needed to go further (particularly in size); but I wouldn't be opposed to giving them some time to mature - sometimes outdated technology becomes more interesting as it gets older.
Posted by fad on January 18, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Apocynum 2
I agree with #1 on this, actually. A piece like that was about the time and place in which it was hung, and as decades pass, as individual LEDs break and dim and the visage decays – should we have the patience as a city to let it age – we will see it smoke-cure into an icon.

It will be that process, not what it was when it was hung, that will define it.
Posted by Apocynum on January 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
You're right about watching old shows and technology vs treknology. Their computers are so huge yet they are suppose to be in the distant future. But rather than feeling embarrassment, I watch with a bit of admiration for some of their innovations. Transporters and flip up communicators, all very cool, still.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 4
It's worthwhile examining the emotion of embarrassment that this piece evokes now. Why does clunky technology diminish our self-esteem just by standing near it? Why does having the latest iPhone make us think we're better than people with a crappy phone?

Why is it embarrassing now to remember that being friends with a guy who used to have one of those hideous Apple Newtons used to make you feel like you were cool?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 5
I couldn't stop staring at this face, yesterday. Charles, get out of my head!!!
Posted by More, I Say! on January 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this

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