A lot has happened since the 1970s, but you wouldn’t know it from spending any time in Scarfolk. This fictional town, thriving on the Internet, operates in a vacuum wherein the world never advanced beyond the Carter presidency.
The brainchild of screenwriter Richard Littler, Scarfolk is a visual compendium of artifacts that perfectly captures the casual paranoia of life in the 1970s and takes it to a ridiculous level.
As the site notes, “Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8 p.m. because they are perpetually running a slight fever. ‘Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.'”
Here, medical ailments such as stigmata and spontaneous combustion are to be feared, and so are “thought-detector vans.” It’s as though Coppola’s The Conversation mated with an old L.L. Bean catalog and an issue of Mad Magazine.
Using some creative graphic design to capture the feel of the material, and to give the book covers, ads, and packaging a dog-eared, lived in feel, Littler’s creation is a wonder to behold. It’s a throwback to a simpler, yet still scary time, and a rebuke to those clinging to it–as well as a functional reminder that we never know as much as we think we do. After all, some of the most accepted assumptions of the iPad era could end up feeling like Scarfolk fodder to future generations.
Have a look through some Scarfolk materials in the slide show above.