Digital nostalgia: Vaporwave as a multimedia musical fiction

  • Igor Vujčić
Vaporwave, music culture, cultural communication, popular culture, meaning and emotion


Vaporwave as a musical genre with a limited number of mostly anonymous performers, but also with a very limited duration of only a few years, is inseparably linked to the phenomenon of the Internet that functions not only as a place where musicians and their audience meet, but as the primary cultural framework of this genre. Relying on the techniques of processing already existing musical expressions, as well as on visual representations and references to the popular culture of nineties, marked in the context of the genre as "aesthetics", vaporwave tends to show and awake with his listeners nostalgia during the early beginnings of the Internet, shaping his expression, both musical and visual, with the goal of acting "as if" comes from another time. The phenomenon of vaporwave will be addressed through several central and interrelated questions - how techniques of sound processing, visual representations and elements of popular culture are brought into interconnection within the musical genre contributing to its multimedia nature, how these elements are separated from their primary interpretations in the processes of retextualization and the creation of a specific bricolage, and on which cultural knowledge the competence for participation in such forms of cultural communication is based.


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