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What Spotify and Instagram would have looked like 30 years ago

Nostalgia sucks, but I can’t help but love it, because I’m old. Which is why I felt an instant connection with these modern digital brands reimagined as the objects of the 1980s and ’90s.

Created by French London-based freelance art and creative director Thomas Ollivier, these objects make intangible platforms tangible. The fleeting nature of Facebook is translated perfectly into a pager, while Instagram morphs into a disposable camera nearly as ephemeral as the photos we upload into the social network. My personal favorites? The Spotify Walkman and the Adobe Illustrator Etch-a-sketch.

[Image: Thomas Ollivier]

I asked Ollivier what drove him to create the project, and he described the close relationship we have with these ephemeral brands today. “These brands are part of our daily life, they have developed an intimate link with their users,” he explained over email. “It’s this connection that I thought was interesting to play with.”

The digital era has virtualized nearly every aspect of our lives, and Ollivier sees a primitive need to make some of those things tangible again. He wonders if this need will eventually fade in the future–or if it will, instead, lead more people to largely abandon virtual life and embrace real-life experiences once more. We can only hope so.

You can follow Ollivier on Instagram and Twitter.

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