Afterdays Media focuses on archaeological views of our contemporary culture. Artifacts, art, or cultural phenomena that picture us in the past tense.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Springfield Drive-In: A Study in Slow Decay

The Springfield Drive-In was the first outdoor theater to open in that Midwestern city – sometime during the early 1950s, I believe. It closed during the early 1980s, after 30 years of intermission jingles and dubious picture and sound quality. The first image is of the concession stand as it was about five years into its abandonment – around 1988. 

As it turns out, the building is still standing. So below are two more shots of this ghost of cheap Midwestern entertainment, retrofitted for commercial storage years ago.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dead Places, Kept Clean

When they mow these dead places, what remains there looks like art or historical preservation. Lovely.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Postmodernism that is Zombie Holocaust

The layers of post-apocalyptic, postmodern irony in pop culture phenomena such as the film Zombie Holocaust are thick and complex.
Even the opening titles of the film seem folky now.
To being with, the film (directed by Marino Girolami in 1979) is essentially a hybridized imitation of a hybridized imitation. Holocaust was shot immediately following the surprise success of Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, which itself was an “unauthorized sequel” to Dawn of the Dead. Zombi 2 mixed Romero’s new zombie ideas with the aesthetic of the Italian westerns of the 1960s and 1970s. Holocaust then took Zombi 2 and grafted it to the "cannibal film" genre of the later 1970s. If that was not enough, a portion of an unfinished domestic horror film was stitched to the beginning of Holocaust, to give it more of an “American” context.
1979 Italian ad art, following a very 1970s aesthetic. 
Like many such films of the era, this is as close to outsider art as professional motion picture production can get. The story follows its own, internal logic; the make-up effects are wonderfully abstract, imaginative, and entirely inept; and the general tone seems primitive and obscure. 

Like most films of the time, Zombi Holocaust played to limited audiences in urban “grindhouse” theaters before dying a quick death. Then, by the late 1990s, this and other films were resurrected as hip, ironic artifacts from a lost age. DVDs were released, ad art became collectible, and now, a new generation of artists is mimicking the apocalyptic aesthetic of the 1970s and early 1980s. Limited edition posters are printed for single screenings, or just for the sake of what is a complex, culturally-reflective art form.  

Reanimating dead pop culture about fake dead bodies.

A 21st century re-imagining of Zombie Holocaust ad art.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fossil Aerosol Mining Project Anniversary - Moog

Celebrating 25 years of obscure recordings of very damaged things, here is a preview from  an upcoming Fossil Aerosol Mining Project release. Its actually older than 25 years – recorded with a Moog Prodigy back in 1983, four years before the naming of the band. Listen for the Zombi 2 relics, found at the abandoned drive-in. Click on the Moog to listen.

Enjoy, and please visit iTunes for more songs about the decay of us.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dead Drive-In Artifacts

The objects found in dead drive-in theaters represent their own class of artifacts. Fragments of marketing pitches for fake food, mixed together with the debris of selling second-run cinematic fiction. All stirred together in a post-apocalyptic, pop-culture, mildewed stew. We started collecting such material during the early 1980s. One of the more surprising relics - a cassette recording of the audio from Zombi 2 (evidently made by someone in the projection booth), was used in some of the earliest Fossil Aerosol Mining Project recordings.

A cache of concession stand packaging.

A display counter acetate of a zombie hot dog.

A box for selling Sprite.

A pleasantly decayed copy of ad mat for “Foolin Around” and “Hot Stuff”.
Poorly pasted-together mock-ups of ads, with notations and bird-dropping patina. Lovely.