by Michael Marchand
With the broadening of what is deemed art in the post information age we see a tendency towards anonymity and a hybridization of practice and aesthetic values. While the artist ego may still exist, it is obfuscated by a seemingly intended ambiguity , with google img found .jpg in place of “actual” personality. Regardless of this “real” world application; or even its implicit aesthetic politic,it means much more to our digitally hybridized subconscious as these sounds, perhaps unknowingly, situate us within our e-environment and quite literally create a sort of music for our time spent online and at some point, quite possibly, for a new net consciousness itself.
The generation of artists working within this hashtagged field grew up online. The oldest may remember dial-up in a nostalgic sense, but most have no true recollection of 56k (much less 28.8 and almost certainly nothing before) and its more immediate physical relation to our realities. Referential plunderphonics created in an age of digital excavation where contextual connections are not fundamentally necessary to understand its inherent pop culture meditations.
For many listeners, a lot of what is sampled and obscured in post-production may not be subconsciously registered in its original form. The implications of this reverse reference are culturally bizarre as often one can recall a vapor track upon hearing its original source and associate it with its newfound contextual mashup; injecting a bit of surrealist value to the oftentimes banal source material and serving to link an online memory (say, digging through bandcamp) to an offline state.
The idiosyncrasies of such a genre (if it really is one beyond a hashtagged archiving trope) help to create a new ambience. A background music for the screen and its landscape of loneliness. Extremely isolationist even at its most upbeat but peculiarly individualized in its mass market ambiguity. Its distance from organic composition a perfect companion to our lives logged on. Soundscapes to cross reference our more human memories with our digital. Sounds and feelings to later associate with a moment of deep web exploration. Spastic loops for a browser bogged down by new tabs. A computer crashing to a reverbed smooth sax sample.
Towards a second nostalgia