A few months ago, I discussed the idea of creating a “neo-vintage” advertisement for a fictional brand of vodka with a dear friend of mine. Upon hearing the details of my plan, she uttered “Go retro: The future is uncertain.” I was instantly drawn to the quirky logic, subtle satire, and thematic possibilities of her impromptu declaration. To wax psychology a moment, we often embrace the future to escape the pull of our turbulent pasts. My cohort’s thesis, on the other hand, encourages the mitigation of prospective chaos by revisiting the simpler pleasures of a previous time. I thus arrived at the idea of an Atomic Age beach-goer lounging in a deck chair, oblivious to the tumultuous and inexorable waves of history and time licking at her heels. The title of the piece derives from “Bikini Atoll” where many nuclear detonations were conducted between 1946 and 1958, hence the era. On the horizon, waterspout of the product spins a limitless supply of her favoured libation (complete with ice cubes) from the lake below. As idyllic a scenario this may be, one must acknowledge the latent hazards of constant comfort lest they drown in the temptation of excessive pleasure, retreat, and denial. Then again, there is much about 2020 I myself would rather forget, at least until the next round.
©1998-2023 Chris Pavlik // Force Ten Design.