I didn’t realize it, but there’s a name for the wonderfully ramshackle mash-up of clunky but high-tech machines, half-assery, and a certain kind of genial safety-adverse Russianness: Birchpunk. A great example of this whole deal can be seen in this incredible little video about a “Russian Cyberfarm,” complete with robots, hovering drones, and a jet-modified UAZ-452 van.
There’s so much good stuff in here—just watch it, ok?
I love the hovering shell of the alien spacecraft stripped for parts, the clunky-ass robots dressed in clothes, the cows bred to have QR code patterns and jellyfish genetically engineered to secrete some sort of booze, the giant holographic buildings that don’t load quite right—it’s all so happily bleak and wonderful.
The reveal at the end sort of makes everything both better and worse, somehow.
Why is all this so appealing to me? Is it my Eastern European DNA influencing me? What’s wrong with me?