Now that recent net art’s visual culture has broken out of its cocoon of pretend-obscurity into high profile music entertainment, we’re having a good time watching it all unravel.
It’s very sad for the net artists who were involuntarily homaged. It’s a little sad for hashtag groupies who mourn the loss of their monetary investments in surf-suits. But for the most part, this is very healthy. Think of it as a cleansing…
I won’t debate the value of the net art medium. It’s like debating the value of sculpture or video art. There is phenomenal, original work done in the medium. But there have been visual trends, trends you can’t keep secret from people whose business it is to find them: “Pop stars are essentially tabulæ rasæ, canvases onto which fashionable ideas are painted, and they’re always looking for new material,” Tom Hawking puts nicely. And you put it all on Tumblr. There is no obscurity on the internet and all this was ripe from some commercial pop appropriation.
You should have seen this net art movement’s copyright pwnership coming… back when Gaga was started jockin’ everyone from Matthew Barney to Marco Brambilla.
As far as “the look” and “the people” — don’t cry for the actually viable, interesting elements of this opulent little subculture. The genderqueerness, the utter giddy madness of digital psychedelia and, most of all, the trend of physical manifestation of the digital realm (I refuse to call any of this “the new aesthetic.” Go to Hell.) — it’s all good. It will survive this co-option. It will learn new tricks. If the heart is there, it will swap out sea creature-apendages for something else.
Now back to the ponchos.
Here are some ridiculous new ponchos from the Shanghai-based company TIMEFLY. I called them “seapunk” ponchos to upset you. Who cares if they’re “seapunk”? They’re amazing and TIMEFLY works with net artists directly to do this — major props!
Also, they’re unisex and in one-size-fits-all, appropriately. You decide whether it’s “too late” or not, if that is what you really care about…
And stop being angry at Rihanna and Azealia Banks. It was a lot shittier for Madonna to harp in on the Ball culture with the vogueing.
(Poncho images: The Creator’s Project)