The cursed universes of Dana Sibera

On the Photoshop creations of Dana Sibera, @NanoRaptor on Twitter and Mastodon.

Or a universe where PowerBook got to reuse Macintosh Portable’s styling:

Maybe “foldables” don’t have to refer exclusively to phones?

Some of those explorations are beautiful and enthralling, like this imaginary IBM PC 5150 in a tower case that matches the angular visual language of the rest of the machine’s components:

This mock-up below is obviously a joke, but in the 1980s, as electric typewriter manufacturers fought for survival in the world suddenly filled with home and office computers, there was at least one device that looked pretty much like this:

And this is really what your iPhone keyboard looks under the hood – the letter keys enlarging and shrinking themselves quietly and invisibly to accommodate your fingers:

Yeah, this stuff is great and compelling. And the AH potential is discussed by the article's author, the writer of Shift Happens, a book about the history of keyboards.

But then, my book has two currents. The main line of history with inventions that ended up shaping the keyboards of today – the Remington, the Underwood, the Selectric, the Model M, the iPhone – is always surrounded by the fringes, the in-betweeners, the one-offs. It’s so much fun looking at the stuff that didn’t make it, and ponder why. Because it is not always because the idea itself was bad.

Sibera’s work – that collection almost always anachronistic, and sometimes even anarchic – seems to be a love letter to those, even if by accident. Perhaps the idea here is simple: sometimes you have to see what hasn’t happened to learn more about the things that have.

I enjoy seeing them so much. The images I put in this newsletter are just a fraction of Sibera’s output. I hope one day this will be collated more properly – in a gallery, perhaps, or a book itself. They’re worth inspection and introspection.
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