More than meets the eye

January 20, 2010

These days the phrase is associated with everything from Transformers to Napalm Death. But I remember the very first time I heard it, because it was written on a poster above my bed, and I didn’t know what it meant. I think I found the idea of anything ‘meeting’ my eye a bit unsettling. The poster was an advert for (I think) IBM – a picture of a large wooden horse taken on a thermal imaging camera, filled with soldiers. Of course, I didn’t know what thermal imaging was then; I barely know now. But it was fuzzy and colourful and involved a horse, so of course I enjoyed it. Even if it was a bit military. I think about that poster sometimes. What an odd, yet ideal, choice it was for a little girl’s bedroom. The cleverness of the idea. And how my memory of it sums up so much about the early 80s – the idealism and paranoia about technology, the make-do mindset and imagination that could turn free promotional posters into kids’ wall art. I’d like to see that poster again. Just to prove to myself it was real.

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