Future Shock: Grammy Gear DeconstructedPublished by L. Michael Gipson on Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:20 am.
Maybe it’s the desperate state of the world today, but watching the Grammys right on the heels of watching the AMAs I can’t help but note how obsessed artists are with the future. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, Black Eye Peas all offered their own dark, psychedelic futures of German Expressionism meets P-Funk. Fritz Lang’s futuristic film “Metropolis” seems to be the inspiration for everything from Janelle Monae album themes to Beyonce’s 2007 tribute, with a gazillion award show outfits following suit.
When folks aren’t mining ‘20s sci-fi film noir, they seem to be going for Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” in their make-up and body suit choices. Interestingly, if this obsession with robot armies and metallic eye patches is supposed to be reflective of our need to escape the present gloom and doom of deficits and foreclosures, it also ironically reveals our deep seated anxiety with what that future holds. In these futures, individuality is consumed by collectivism (robots, paramilitary armies, or GaGa sweatshop workers), weapons are plentiful, and no one ever seems to be cleaner than their spit-shined metal armors. We haven’t been this concerned with the future since the ‘80s, another era bookended by economic collapse. Will we get to that respite of sun in the middle? Will we ever get back to enjoying the here and now again? Wait for next year’s music awards season to find out.