This year’s multimedia graduates offer retro takes on the Space Age.
By Kevin Matthews
Space is usually presented as a promise, a distant dream, even when we get there.
Take Mars. There are eight active, operational missions from international space agencies currently on or orbiting the Red Planet, numerous completed missions and a slew of noble failures. NASA hopes to get humans there in the 2030s. But it sure feels 140 million miles away, on average.
Multimedia graduate Nikki Notthoff ’19, who created the artwork on Page 14, has been to Vandenberg Air Force Base to see SpaceX rockets lift off. In future missions, the private company proposes to begin setting up infrastructure for a Mars colony.
To bring the rest of us a little closer to this vision, Notthoff creates digital art that recalls the excitement of the Space Age’s start. Valerie Krepel ’19 and Kiera Rodgers ’19, also just out of the multimedia program, share this interest in the artistic style known as retrofuturism, which has been around at least since the 1970s.
For Notthoff, retrofuturist art shows “what the future was going to look like back then.” She takes inspiration from WWII propaganda posters or Disney’s Tomorrowland, giving some pieces a “faded paper look” like “something that would be plastered on a brick wall in 1940s New York.”
In a different twist, Krepel likes to project viewers into a future that has “adopted styles of the past.” Her promotion for virtual reality technology mimicks 1970s art without looking quite like something produced back then.
At Krepel’s Stardust Diner, introduced in a series of ads, the “all new” shake flavors are “Glargian Ruuzzle, Moicren Pie, and Raspberry.” Sounds like the place to pull over and refuel.