early vaporwave was pretty explicitly anti capitalist. it was distributed for free exclusively online and was largely made by either LGBT people, people in contemporary art circles, or both
as time went on the anti-capitalist themes of vaporwave faded away, it became increasingly made by mediocre white men, and it became less about challenging the aesthetic and more about bathing in it
"Exclusively online," btw, is an important aspect of vaporwave distribution that the rise of cassettes fundamentally disturbed at the very least.
I would argue the introduction of physical media into vaporwave was 95% negative as it just allowed for cynical people who wanted profit to come in along with collector-types who want to take something INTENTIONALLY ephemeral like vaporwave and buy it, bottle it, and save it forever
@realmaxkeeble Vaporwave died in 2012, just as punk died in 1978
@radoptimist I'm not sure it died, but something certainly changed in January 2013. this song comes out and invents a couple of vaporwave subgenres all at once
the irony dropped off a bit, see
this isn't so much an ironic indictment of 90s hypercapitalism as it is a kind of celebration of it
wait what? how does being LGBT or from the contemporary artworld context make you anti-capitalist by default?
@rhmb @realmaxkeeble can't speak for Max but I don't think "either LGBT or from the contemporary art world" is supposed to be read as the cause of the anti-capitalism! early vaporwave is a parody of pie-in-the-sky dot-com boom capitalist promises about the future, and what those promises eventually actually returned on the Internet
I've been thinking about how to put this for a while and you put it super elegantly
@Aleums this seems right up your alley
@Ophillous thanks for letting me know 👌
@Aleums any time 🤙
@realmaxkeeble great take max, thank you for this
Oof if you don't like that I got bad news about cyberpunk in general
I'd honestly read this take. You should throw toss it at The Establishment.
Watching the rise & fall of vaporwave has been a trip & all the discussion I can find is on the aesthetics.
@realmaxkeeble I think DownTheRabbitHole did an educational video on vaporwave.