Logistical Fictions

Indexing the fictional designs and devices—the bills, parts lists, maps, catalogues, containers, and concepts—of imagined logistical operations and infrastructures.

Fully Operational

As we’ve already suggested, Jurassic World has the potential to truly revel in the kind of functioning park we were never really able to see in the original film. The recent release of marketing material for the forthcoming blockbuster spares no expense, offering exactly the kind of publicity we would expect for any world-class contemporary zoo.

Map Not to Scale

This Christmas classic transcends its place as a relatively mediocre suburban survival story when it ventures into slapstick. The most captivating part is the planning, when Kevin’s precisely honed logistical senses meet with the power of plot to force the not yet notorious Wet Bandits through an (almost) perfect procession of pain.

How’s My Trans-Stellar Utility Lifting?

Replete with instances of the (now) familiar science fiction corporation trope (with “the company’s” logo branded on clothing, cups, and nearly every disposable commodity), the film’s most intriguing visuals are found in designer Ron Cobb’s work on the April 2078 iteration of the “Semiotic Standard.” Reviewing the design language Cobb created “For All Commercial Trans-Stellar […]

The Golden Path

Dune is not subtle in examination of the logistical constraints that bind the fate of the galaxy to the planet Arrakis, to the spice Melange that is found only there. In its narrative, the gears of civilization move only through the regular supply of this, the most precious and valuable commodity in the universe—the singular […]

The Lure of the Open Road

On this very night, ten years ago, on this same stretch of road, in the dense fog, just like this, I saw the worse accident I ever seen. There was this sound, like a garbage truck dropped off the Empire State Building. And when they finally pulled the driver’s body from the twisted, burning, WRECK, […]

The Good Ship

This prototype from the creator of Papers, Please puts its player in the role of an insurance adjustor for the East India Company, tasking them with investigating the mysterious return of the lost ship “Obra Dinn.” A ghost story in classic Mac game style.

Internet: 2021

At Lines and Nodes, the day-long conference and weekend-long film series that began today at NYU, our discussion of the aesthetic dimensions of extraction and infrastructure began with Finn Brunton’s recognition of the “infrastructural tracking shot.” In the strange sort of material aesthetic Johnny Mnemonic (1995) deploys for its designs of the digital, Brunton finds […]

The Republic

Despite its famous cover featuring the Battersea Power Station, the infrastructural analysis performed in Animals (1977) is more closely attuned to the structural emanations of the beasts themselves.