Out of Control #4.3 - A Journal of Abiotic Vampirism
By David Drexler
The three short pieces in this zine all focus on old technology, retro-futurism, and the idea of the future, all topics I’m interested in.
The second essay raises the idea that our vision of the future is firmly based on what exists in the present, just more so. Drexler says that when we look at images of the future from the past we are “seeing what things would have looked like if 1962 had gone on for 100 years without changing, just getting MORE 1962.”
Drexler mentions that he’s travelled to several capitols of former British colonies, like Cairo and Calcutta, and that the aesthetics seen on signs and packaging there seem to be echoing that which existed fifty years ago, ignoring later developments. I can’t say for sure whether that is true or not, and wish there were some photographic examples to illustrate this point.
The other two pieces go into other ideas about the future, what it means to us, and why we care. All three are written using a style and word choice that seems somewhat unusual. Drexler seems far happier using less common words if at all possible. He doesn’t “go up” stairs, he “ascends” them, he was “puerile” not “childish”, things were “desiccated” not “dried”, and on and on. But rather than taking you out of the writings, they seem to fit in with writing about technology and ideas from the past, creating an almost spooky feel to some of the descriptions.
When Drexler writes:
“The protracted gloamings of aesthetic senility, deep-layered coatings of dust, forlorn, forgotten, forbidden, covered up in dead leaves, coruscated encrustations, slyly hinting dim visions of futures that never were, the last legions of the lost are my real loves, the truest and darkest lusts of my being.”
It’s like he’s about to summon up some horrible Cthuloid-inspired, technological monster. (And that's something else I'd like to see him write about!)
Interspaced with the text pieces are loads of awesome “futuristic” images from the past: Crazy cities, rocket ships, space girls, mummies using lasers, pulp science fiction covers, and more. I love all that stuff, and really want to know where that mummy drawing is from. Now I need to go find my retro-futurism art book, and maybe write some pulp science fiction stories.