250 reviews of time travel TV, movies, books right here

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Best Google Doodle since McLuhan

Today's Google Doodle is about art-deco artist Tamara de Lempicka, who worked primarily in the 1920s and 30s.   I've always loved art-deco - my wife and I still collect art-deco jewelry and silverware, when we can buy it on the cheap at an auction or flea market - and I gotta say this is the best Google Doodle since the July 21, 2017 Doodle (in motion, of course) honoring Marshall McLuhan.

Art-deco, though it extended into the 1930s and provided hope with its sleek shiny lines, was very much a product of the 1920s.   This was an age of fast cars, fast trains, big motion pictures soon with sound, and even the pulse of electricity in the first radio networks, CBS and NBC.   It was also the dawn of truly modern science fiction, with the advent of Gernsback's Amazing Stories, where I was proud to be published in 1993 and will soon be published again (this summer in its paper relaunch).

The science fiction that I've always most loved - which would be Asimov and Heinlein - was very much a reflection and extension of art-deco.   The clean sleek lines of the cars and trains and The Empire State Building and even more The Chrysler Building in New York City - which I've also always loved as architecture - were projected onto the rocket ships that lifted us off the Earth and brought us to other planets and solar systems.   And since that science fiction was the inspiration of space pioneers like Werner von Braun, there's also a connection between art deco and the space program, and, indeed, the whole endeavor of getting us off this planet and out into the stars.

Our digital age is also a reflection of this same impulse - to move our information, and thus us, ever faster.  Why is fast good?  Because life is short.   Someday - I hope, in the not too-distant future - we'll indeed have space ships carrying lots of people out into the cosmos.   On the those ships, I like to image that there'll be some of Tamara de Lempicka's work.  Until then, we have today's Google Doodle to enjoy.

Post a Comment