"Vaporwave isn’t just something you listen to either, it’s something you experience, and experiences include visuals. Vaporwave visual art, simply referred to as 'aesthetics,' is varied but tends to honor some core tenets. If you’re looking at something pink and teal with a marble classical bust and a glitchy Windows 95 logo, you’re probably looking at a vaporwave aesthetic. If you’re watching a YouTube video with a title written in a weirdly soothing stretched out font, you’re probably watching a vaporwave aesthetic.
If you haven’t guessed by now, vaporwave is a bit of a joke, or more accurately, an internet meme. Vaporwave’s trippy immediate artistic ancestor 'seapunk' was a running inside joke on Tumblr during 2011 about fashion and art and music inspired by the ocean. The look and sound of a psychedelic club run by a hipster Ariel from The Little Mermaid is a pretty accurate summation. Neon seapunk imagery even found its way into Rihanna’s 2012 Saturday Night Live performance, confounding many viewers with its colorful and stylish but garish, cheap, and seemingly unprofessional grainy green screen look. The exact difference between seapunk and vaporwave is blurry, but as far as I understand vaporwave trades the aquatic focus for a fascination with the emptiness of aging and/or amateur glossy commercialism. It’s the music playing behind an infomercial for public access purgatory."
(Jordan Minor, 03 June 2016)
"These wonderfully warped depictions of Disney classics is brought to you by artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros. His upcoming exhibition, 'Profanity Pop,' is described as a 'celebration of creative freedom in our time' –– creative freedom apparently translating to Snow White taking sexy selfies. There's something surprisingly unnerving about watching your childhood BFFs making out, doing drugs and taking pregnancy tests, no matter how much you thought you'd moved on from your Disney roots."
(Priscilla Frank, 01 August 2014, The Huffington Post)
"The National Videogame Archive is a joint project between the National Media Museum and Nottingham Trent University, which aims to celebrate that culture and preserve that history for researchers, developers, game fans and the public.
Announced in September 2008, the Archive is working to preserve, analyse and display the products of the global videogame industry by placing games in their historical, social, political and cultural contexts. This means treating videogames as more than inert, digital code: at the heart of the National Videogames Archive is the determination to document the full life of games, from protoypes and early sketches, through box–art, advertising and media coverage, to mods, fanart and community activities."
(The National Videogame Archive, 24th Feb 2009)
"The goal of this study is to construct a series of ethnographic case studies of the activities of English–language fandoms of Japan–origin media, particularly anime (animation) and related media such as electronic games, trading cards, and manga (comics). Building on Ito's prior research on children's engagement with new media in Tokyo, this study adds a transnational dimension, focusing on how English–language fans translate, subtitle, share, and remix Japan–origin media. The project aims for a broad ethnographic description of the diverse range of fan activities that comprise anime fandom, focused on the US and English–language online sites. These sites and activities include anime clubs, anime and game conventions, fan subtitling groups, online 'shrine' sites dedicated to particular characters or series, anime news and discussion sites, file sharing sites, internet relay chat, anime music videos, fan art, and fan fiction.
Anime fandoms and transnational otaku groups represent a unique case study in youth activism and remix cultures, providing examples of creativity and social mobilization as ignited by passion for particular forms of cult media. Anime fans have constructed a grass roots movement to make Japan–origin media available to an English–speaking public. Further, they construct derivative works of fan art, video, and fiction that represent emergent forms of communication and creativity keyed to the digital age. These networks of amateur cultural production exhibit unique forms of learning, sharing, and reputation systems that can inform our understanding of how digital media can facilitate lateral and peer–to–peer knowledge communities."
(Mimi Ito, Brendan Callum, Renee Saito, Annie Manion, Rachel Cody, Ryan Shaw, Jennifer Urban)
[Illustration created by 'usagijen' of 'DNAngel Riku' published by scrumptious.animeblogger.net]