By Grafton Tanner
In the age of world capitalism, vaporwave celebrates and undermines the digital ghosts haunting the nostalgia undefined. Ours is a time of ghosts in machines, killing which means and exposing the gaps inherent within the digital media that pervade our lives. Vaporwave is an child musical micro-genre that foregrounds the horror of digital media's skill to seem - as media theorist Jeffrey Sconce phrases it - "haunted." Experimental musicians akin to net membership and MACINTOSH PLUS control Muzak and advertisement track to undermine the commodification of nostalgia within the age of world capitalism whereas accentuating the uncanny homes of digital tune construction. Babbling Corpse unearths vaporwave's many intersections with politics, media thought, and our current fascination with uncanny, co(s)mic horror. The ebook is aimed toward these drawn to international capitalism's impact on artwork, musical raids on mainstream "indie" and renowned tune, and a person intrigued by way of the altering courting among artwork and commerce.
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Extra info for Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave And The Commodification Of Ghosts
Noël Carroll has written on horror and humor as two genres that often blend into one another, whether purposely or by accident. ”12 Carroll’s prime figure of horror and humor is the clown, a shapeless being that, by altering certain characteristics, can be hilarious or horrifying (or both): [The clown] is a fantastic being, one possessed of an alternate biology, a biology that can withstand blows to the head by hammers and bricks that would be deadly for any mere human, and the clown can sustain falls that would result in serious injury for the rest of us.
If ever there were an object-oriented aesthetic, these artists would constitute the vanguard, along with vaporwave producers like MACINTOSH PLUS, Infinity Frequencies, and INTERNET CLUB. In addition to being a genre of ghosts, vaporwave is the sound of the outside world of things – electronic technology, mass-produced goods, non-places. And part of this nonhuman aesthetic comes from the visual iconography (more on that later). But in its darkest iterations, vaporwave’s other-ness is difficult to pin down.
A good example is “Sports Champions” by Local News in which the line “Here’s to the winners…” is repeated for nearly its entire 3:42 running time. At a certain point, the voice loses its immediacy and no longer sounds like the familiar voice of Frank Sinatra. Eventually, Sinatra’s lyric becomes a sound bite, a mechanized voice repeating the same meaningless line without ever arriving at a resolution. “Sports Champions” is the sound of a song trying to find its footing and never escaping the circular dungeon of the intro.