‘Wasteland’ by Alex Grey, 1982

In 1972, artist Alex Grey began to realize a series of art installations/performances dealing with themes including death, transcendence, and transformation. As recession began to take hold and the Cold War intensified during the first years of the 1980s, Britain and the U.S. elected reactionary, hawkish leaders, fears of imminent nuclear war spread…

Illustrated Law Enforcement Training Targets, Circa 1982 – 1988

In the early 1980s, an officer of the Judicial Police of Belgian city Liège, Francis Dorao, began seeking a cost-effective method for providing more realistic simulations of high-risk situations for police target training, claiming that the traditional black silhouette targets did not adequately prepare officers to face actual human opponents or to make the split-second decisions necessary when distinguishing between an armed threat and an innocent bystander…

Vanishing Point: How the Light Grid Defined 1980s Futurism

By Richard McKenna

Of all the visual shorthand for a particular type of outmoded futurism, one of the most immediately recognizable—like the chrome lettering with which it is often paired—must be the light grid. Usually depicted as a network of glowing straight lines receding in perspective against a black background, occasionally with the outlines of mountains or the blush of dawn visible on the horizon…

Rainier Beer Advertisement, 1976

This 1976 promotional poster for Rainer beer, entitled “Barbeerian [sic] conquers Sasquatch” and showing a muscular warrior serving the mythical creature the beverage, demonstrates that high fantasy and cryptozoological tropes had penetrated the popular culture of the second half of the 20th century to such an extent that they could be reliably mined for mainstream parody…