12 September 2014
Retronaut: The Photographic Time Machine
Based on the widely popular blog that started as a side project in a basement, Retronaut: The Photographic Time-Machine reveals strange yet enlightening photographs from the past that somehow seem to depict another
version of now. Martha Stewart as a fashion model, Kim Jong II in a bumper car, and Ronald Reagan modelling for a sculpture class—this quirky page-turner enriched with author Chris Wild’s unique wit and oddball knowledge is a must-have for collectors of the unusual.
Wild, a former museum archivist, has revolutionized the way we think of dusty photos—turning them into a sensation that has taken the Internet by surprise. He has selected the best photographs from the site’s most visited eras and themes, mashing up Victoriana with vintage advertising from the ’60s and ’70s and unearthing
rare snapshots of evil dictators taking vacations. Page by page, this unconventional, thought-provoking photographic time machine will change what you think you know about history.
Unexpected images take readers on a visual odyssey through an unfamiliar past; a place where crocodiles take children on walks, and consumers mull the pros and cons of electric sauna pants. Strap on your goggles and prepare to time travel with the Retronaut to the past as you’ve never seen it. A space suit for dogs. Munchkins
enjoying a cigarette break on the set of the Wizard of Oz. Ku Klux Klan members taking a spin on Ferris Wheel. The famously dour Queen Victoria smiling. A launching pad for hours of conversation and a browser’s delight, Retronaut is thought-provoking fun.
“Essentially an emporium of retro treasure, author Chris Wild invites us to shuttle between the ages: from shocking sculptures of the 1700s, to Kodachrome snaps of 1950s Piccadilly Circus, to biblical scenes captured by Google Earth. Rather than nostalgia or folly, the aim is enlightenment, wonder and the pleasure of weirdness”.
Chris Wild is Retronaut’s founder and curator. In 2013 he was Guest Digital Curator at Europeana. Chris is currently Guest Curator at Northumberland Museums and Archives. He has been a keynote speaker at TED Global, DISH, 2045: A Futurist’s Symposium, Lost Lectures and Remix. Retronaut: The Photographic Time-
Machine (National Geographic) is Chris’s first book.