Jeff Thompson has seen more Law & Order than you. In fact, the digital artist has seen all 456 episodes of the original, non-SVU or –CI version of the show, and while watching, he took a screenshot of every computer that appears onscreen. He’ll present his findings in Computers on Law & Order, a Rhizome-funded talk at the Museum of the Moving Image February 1.
Thompson treated the beloved show as a case-study for the ways our culture — or one segment of it, anyway — thought of and used technology over its 20-year, 1990-2010 run. At first, he tells, Yahoo, computer existed mostly in the periphery, in the backgrounds of shots, often not even turned on, but as you’d expect, tech gradually takes a more central role as time goes on. He’s also collected every fake URL that’s ever appeared on the show.
If you can’t make the lecture, don’t fret: Thompson will eventually post his computer screenshots on Tumblr.