from (deleted) <nostalgia therapy> —
possible connections: across&beyond
If a teen is drawn to early web aesthetics, it is not out of a nostalgia for their youth. It is, instead, a yearning for a time from before they even existed, a time they can only imagine. That seems hella old to me, and hella folksy.
I think we are drawn to the aesthetics of the early web because it feels authentic and human, like a chair made by hand or a band playing only for the love of it. And if our modern lives are defined by the omnipresence of the internet, then idolizing Geocities pages could be seen as a way of connecting to our roots. So building a website from scratch, with hard-coded gif animations and a web-ring, is now part of the back-to-the-land tradition.
What is not so obvious is the way Instagram recycles the original aesthetics, indeed the political ethos, that arose from vaporwave and even the early internet itself, into a decontextualized set of images: the internet has become nostalgia in search of a platform.
And that's precisely why it's become very meaningless to talk about is there an “authentic”? Is rap authentic? Because once you become part of the machinery of an advance technological capitalism system of production that is all out for the most profit, questions of authenticity become to me totally stupid and meaningless. Because it's already not anything that you can speak of any more as indigenous, it doesn't have a marginal location any more. So you can't talk about it as authentic to that marginal location because it's simply not there. It is“authentic” then to what it is.