‘Culturesport’ puts 90s rave culture, sci-fi, and anime into a psychedelic blender. The result is cool as hell.
Mashup 90s rave culture, AI paranoia, classic anime, loads of neon, and the constant modern dread about megatech corporations controlling our lives, and you might start to get Culturesport — a project five years in development that’s finally seeing the light of day.
The show and brand, spearheaded by the artist John Michael Boling, is a psychedelic journey into a retro-future that will seem strangely familiar to anyone who grew up in the 90s (or is obsessed with the period). It’s a Max Headroom-esque cyberpunk landscape where the world’s first true artificial intelligence begins to assert itself in ways we can’t possibly imagine. Culturesport is being rolled out as a 10 episode season supported (or so they hope) by Kickstarter backers, but the team has already released a full episode on YouTube as a proof of concept, and the storyline seems to build a bit of the backstory for one of the main characters, a titan of the tech industry named Peter Yost. Also, it features gabber music as a main plot point. Score.
Prior to embarking on this project, the creators built an interactive drum machine and short film under the Culturesport name for KENZO, and have worked with brands like Supreme and Nike (presumably on ad-related content, though their Kickstarter page doesn’t make it clear). The brand collaborations make sense, as the team behind the show seems to see marketing opportunities that go far beyond YouTube videos (several of the perks include clothing and other physical merchandise).
The project has a pretty hefty goal of $1 million in overall funding to hit all 10 episodes, but if the recent rise in 90s nostalgia is any indication, I’m willing to bet there are plenty of people who’d like to see something as ambitious as this show get off the ground. I have to be honest: I wouldn’t mind wearing the YOST t-shirt while I am being Very Online and / or hacking Black ICE.