Spazzy Aesthetics

In my last post I mentioned the long, rambling, roundabout thoughts adulthood grants, versus the stroboscopic fallout of media that today’s youth are exposed to. And so I’ve been noticing this spastic aesthetic that the kids are getting into: I call it neo-psychedaelia, and it especially afflicts today’s indie rock hipster monoculture. Check out these links that really illustrate what I’m on about (not sonically but visually, of course):

– Montreal band Think About Life: What the hell is going on? Hunh? Too much information! I’m too old for this. I think I broke my hip trying to find their bio.

– Über-duo MGMT: Cool thing is you can type any word (only nouns seem to work) into the “MGmtSEARCH” dialogue box and it somehow pulls an image of that thing from the web and inserts it on the page. You have to try it because it’s pretty rad.

Why?’s latest album cover. Can everyone stop pooing clouds for a minute of our lives?

– Intergalactic Virign’s tripped-out MySpace. I stumbled upon this on The Dears’ MySpace so it’s totally random. It shows how even something as formulaic as MySpace’s profile editing can be manipulated into something that is barely legible.

It’s beyond a cut-and-paste vibe, this frenetic, nonsensical overlap of images. Remember when you had a 286 and how fun that little drawing app called “Paintbrush” was? It’s like these websites are being designed in Super Mario Paint. These softwares were really shitty but embodied the niftiness of the 90’s: “Wow! Look at this useless thing my computer can do!” right before you went and played Lemmings for two hours straight. I think the amazingness of this kind of design is its crappiness: it doesn’t rely on complicated Flash animation or intense HTML programming. It’s pretty basic (or perhaps written in BASIC?), which is what makes the aesthetic so accessible and raw.

I guess this trend has its equivalent in fashion with ironic 80’s sunglasses paired with the comeback of the bandana (see example below, though with fashion I find the aesthetic is more derivative and a bit boring):
hipsterorspecial_2.jpg – from DO.PALICIO.US

P.S. I can’t believe I made programming jokes, but I did take two years of computer science in high school.

3 Replies to “Spazzy Aesthetics”

  1. Oh, that. I found it among some old drawings I had kept from high school. That particular one appeared during a calculus (or was is algebra? anyone?) class in 1994. I thought it would be appropriate…considering my own love for controlled spasticity.

  2. I can’t believe I laughed at your programming jokes..! Well, I did play Lemmings and watch Fresh Prince. And I’m pretty sure those are calculus notes.

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