Time Warner’s Future Is Now


In the future, Tony Bennett will perform in front of trippy computer images displayed on flat-screen TVs.Photo: Patrick McMullan

Time Warner has shown us the future — and it is remarkably like the present, but with retro interior design. We arrived at the Time Warner Center last night for the opening of the media company’s “Home to the Future” exhibit expecting robot caterers, smell-o-vision televisions, and Dick Parsons’s clone. Instead we got demonstrations of Time Warner’s revolutionary new concepts, DVR and VOD, and news that apparently Samsung has figured out a way to make a television screen flat. Also, it seems there’s something called the Internet, which allows you, as a sign explained, to get all the music you want, just at the touch of a button. All this breathtaking new technology was set in an exhibit designed by Edwin Schlossberg, best known as Mr. Caroline Kennedy, who used lots of orange-on-orange and blue-on-blue hexagons, plus furniture made out of puffy white-leather circles. It was Camelot! The demi-celebs in the room were as confused as we were. “Whatever this is, I’m underwhelmed,” said man-about-town Boykin Curry. “I thought maybe the food was the vision of the future, that Time Warner was going to start home delivery of tiny pieces of steak through your television.” At around 8:30, guests began filing upstairs for a concert by Tony Bennett. (Again: The future will be like Camelot!) We left for a much more interesting use of flat-screen televisions, Robert Wilson’s video portraits at the Phillips de Pury gallery downtown. They were awesome. —Jada Yuan