Time Unkind to Electric Lascaux


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needed to go further (particularly in size); but I wouldn't be opposed to giving them some time to mature - sometimes outdated technology becomes more interesting as it gets older.
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.
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.
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?
I couldn't stop staring at this face, yesterday. Charles, get out of my head!!!
saying this is outdated is like saying Kraftwerk is retrograde