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Saturday, April 16, 2016

What is Vaporwave?

This short article was a response I wrote on Facebook to these questions:
1. How would you define "vaporwave"? (art, lifestyle, community, philosophy etc.)
2. What is vaporwave to you? Is it important, and why?
That's a hard thing to answer with any definiteness, even as it's hard to clearly tell where Vaporwave is delineated from other similar genres. 

Vaporwave is not an isolated phenomena, but seems to be part of a rising wave of greater nostalgia. This is particularly so with young adults who are coming face to face with the bleak reality of modernity and adulthood in this age.

Vaporwave is a muffled cry of sadness, a sob of the choking generation remembering what so quickly swept by them. The dream is decaying like so many old magnetic tapes. The apple has been bitten and what was once rainbows is seen in mechanistic monochrome as the realization of reality sweeps away the dross of corporate positivist and individualist propaganda.

Vaporwave is in so many ways an expression of alienation, an attempt by an entire culture to put into 'words' that which has been carefully suppressed for millennia by the ruling classes. Throughout well nigh all of known history the masses have cried for equality and equity but are delivered to explotation and domination. Our lives are not lived for ourselves, but for another. Consider Marx: “Let us review the various factors as seen in our supposition: My work would be a free manifestation of life, hence an enjoyment of life. Presupposing private property, my work is an alienation of life, for I work in order to live, in order to obtain for myself the means of life. My work is not my life.”

As above one can see that within this understanding of Vaporwave, the oft stated and debated "critique/mockery of capitalism" that many perceive as a sloppily contrived projection is in fact subtly implied. The evasiveness of that perception is that it is rarely expressed boldly or overtly in Vaporwave. It is instinctual and inherent in the very condition of being human, it is implied by objective reality itself. The critique is in fact the undeniable reality that Vaporwave warbles its way towards expression. It is the true and hidden heart.

Please refer to the following for further elucidation:

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