Spanning the Distance: Design in Cyberspace
The 90s may not have enjoyed the technological capabilities we have today, but the decade certainly contributed to a vision of what has evolved: cyberspace. “/Time arrives late,/” wrote Nancy Lerner early in her collaboration with designer/husband David Frej. This poster marries narrative and design in scenes that come together to give a single, cohesive imagining of cyberspace with profound optimism.
In their musings, cyberspace was a place where things we think we know are not true, where memory meets the edge of speculation. There is a sense of balance in this reality that has nothing to do with symmetry.
The logotype at the bottom of this poster for year-long symposium at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia stacks the names of the speakers at the Design in Cyberspace series in such a way that makes me want to try to stack some books of my own similarly. Some of the attendees included the godfather of virtual reality Jaron Lanier who certainly has bold criticisms on the misconduct of some of the current influential users of cyberspace.
That brings us to today. cyberspace is now part of our everyday diet. Most of what we share in cyberspace are moments that to us feel real, that exist in physical space. But what about the moments that exist only within this new virtual dimension? That is what the hand is longing to see.
“Counting past five,” writes Lerner, an activity that at one point in our lives required both hands. Activities that require both hands demand our full attention, much like the woman pays in the photo by Francois Robert.
While the design of the poster, and the theme of this post represents time past, they also present time forward. The future has always been a part of cyber’s concept because it presented new possibilities all of which we are seeing in our everyday lives, whether it be through words, images, or conversations.