Social media has become a sort of digital coffee shop, in my opinion. It has become a platform where people are able to brew their ideas together and give birth to new ones. Jason Silva calls it idea sex. It must be something about the natural high that readily available information brings.
As a young creative, I am lucky to grow up in a hyperactive environment with varying aesthetics no one will judge you for. I matured in almost the same pace as the social media giants today. I matured with YouTube, Tumblr, Myspace, and Facebook. I have witnessed the interesting, the quirky, the plain dark, and the continually growing crevices of the internet population.
You’d be surprised of the subcultures that arise on the regular all over the internet. Today, we’ll talk about one in particular – vaporwave.
I’ve seen it all around the internet. I regarded them as a new branch of aesthetic approach defined by bright colors, 90s items, post-modern vibes marked by collages with a touch of Japanese pop culture.
But vaporwave is more than an aesthetic approach – it’s more than a fad. It’s turning 6 years old!
Vaporwave as a music genre
Vaporwave, first and foremost, is defined as a music genre. Wikipedia defines it as
Vaporwave (also vapourwave) is a genre of music that emerged in the early 2010s among Internet communities. It is characterized by a nostalgic fascination with retro cultural aesthetics (typically of the 1980s, 1990s, and early-mid 2000s), video games, technology, post-modern Japanese culture and advertising, and styles of commercial and popular music such as lounge, smooth jazz and elevator music. Musical sampling is prevalent within the genre, with samples often pitched, layered or altered in classic chopped and screwed style. Central to the style is often a critical or satirical preoccupation with consumer capitalism, popular culture, and new-age tropes
Vaporwave is this collage of trends that came together and breathed life into a new one. Fitting, because how it came to be is pretty much like a collage to.
Vaporwave is also attributed to EDM music. You can head over to music platforms such as SoundCloud to check out this genre with a cult following and you’ll find it hard to cage it to a certain reference.
What it sounds to me, is an art form that can only be fully experienced only when you’re willing to look past its superficial implications.
What’s so noteworthy about this subculture and pretty much every other subculture that the internet has given birth to is how a community can be so powerful as to sustain an idea or a concept.
The power of community indeed cannot be neglected. Vaporware may seem like any other fad seen on the internet but the extent to which it is formed is significant to how social, social media really is. Should it “die”, pretty sure another one’s just going to spring up – now that we’ve discovered the power or internet communities, creativity has been upgraded and no one’s stopping it.