First there was Grimes, now there is War Nymph. And with the release of her forthcoming album, there will be Miss Anthropocene, the manga goddess of climate change. In the video game Cyberpunk 2077 she is cast as the in-game pop star, Lizzy Wizzy, and her song “4ÆM” is featured on the soundtrack. C is toggling between the real and the virtual, between fact and fiction. She’s not so much proposing a return to old school digital dualism as taking full rein of the creative capacities of a life lived neither on- or offline, but between the two.
we see all digital output as a sort of behind-the-scenes version of reality, more real than the real. We see this in the last decade’s obsession with minimalism, the Everlane-clad armies of corporate professionals snacking on protein + vegetable + rice bowls in Instagram-optimized fast casuals. The convenient alibi is that this aesthetic is about efficiency. It’s either a harbinger of a frictionless future or a commentary on how harsh competition has pushed everyone to the test the limits of their economic performance. It’s the fashion code for the Black Mirror franchise: the future is the present haunted by technology.