As time proceeds through the modern age, past once futuristic milestones like the turn of the millennium, and dates of apocalyptic prophecy, we look back on the years that have passed and wonder where they leave us. Neither shiny, idyllic utopias nor grim post-collapses have truly materialized, so we wonder now what future we have left to expect. What tale of tomorrow is left to be told by a world that should already be there?
Existing works of media, common purveyors of what may arrive next, are themselves couched in their own respective timeframes. Due to specific technological tools, or in-vogue stylistic techniques, most creative works telegraph the era in which they were made, even when depicting a hypothetical future. These means and methodologies were typically discarded when the next big thing came around (arguably, before their potential could be fully explored), further entrenching the identifiability of when something was produced.
More recently, this trend has started to reverse. The rapid advancement of easily available tools, along with anachronism itself becoming a motif, has lead to imitations of the past becoming common-place. This, combined with the Internet's ability to preserve, catalog, and analyze our memories, has led to a sort of temporal compression of culture. The content of creative works has begun to disassociate from the context in which they were originally formed.
Rather than fight against this phenomenon, it is time to embrace it. Treating the past as off-limits makes little sense, as it has begun to act not just as inspiration, but more like its own type of material. By combining, retooling, and synthesizing these elements, a better understanding of time may arise.
We believe that the retro-future is still ours to create.