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CARI The Contemporary Aesthetic Research Institute Unearthing the Forgotten Design History of the Recent Past


MISSION STATEMENT CARI is an online community dedicated to developing a taxonomy of recent design aesthetics in modern consumer culture, interpreting and critiquing them in the context of societal trends.


HOW THIS GOT STARTED

VAPORWAVE AND A BIT OF AN OBSESSION

VAPORWAVE Vaporwave is a microgenre of electronic music and an Internet meme that emerged in the early 2010s. The style is defined by its appropriation of 1980s and 1990s mood music styles such as smooth jazz, elevator music, R&B, and lounge music, typically sampling or manipulating tracks via chopped and screwed techniques and other effects. Its surrounding subculture is sometimes associated with an ambiguous or satirical take on consumer capitalism and popular culture, and tends to be characterized by a nostalgic or surrealist engagement with the popular entertainment, technology and advertising of previous decades.



HYPNOGOGIA & HAUNTOLOGY

LOST FUTURES, AND WHAT WERE WE MISSING BEYOND VAPORWAVE?

HAUNTOLOGY

“In the 2000s, the term was taken up by critics in reference to paradoxes found in postmodernity, particularly contemporary culture’s persistent recycling of retro aesthetics and incapacity to escape old social forms. Critics such as Mark Fisher and Simon Reynolds have used the term to describe art preoccupied with this temporal disjunction and defined by a “nostalgia for lost futures.”

HYPNAGOGIC POP

“Pop music refracted through the memory of a memory.” Cultural sources subconsciously remembered from a 1980s and early 1990s adolescence while freeing them from their historical contexts and “homing in on the futuristic signifiers” of the period.



DIVING INTO THE AESTHETICS


FACTORY POMO 1987 - 1994


GLOBAL VILLAGE COFFEEHOUSE 1988 - 1999


‘FRASURBANE’ 1990 - 2000


Y2K

1993-2003


GEN X Y/A CONTEMPORARY + SOFT CLUB 1992 - 2002


METALHEART 1998-2004


ZEN-X

1996-2002


MCBLING 2000-2008


FRUTIGER AERO 2004-2011


NEOLIBERAL VECTOR MINIMALISM 2010-2015


BOUGIE DESIGN 2015-PRESENT



ENGAGING COMMUNITIES IN DESIGN RESEARCH USING VARIOUS ONLINE PLATFORMS PLATFORM FACEBOOK TUMBLR

# OF USERS/FOLLOWERS ~18,000 (MULTIPLE GROUPS) ~35,000 FOLLOWERS

BEST TO USE FOR ACCESSIBLE RESEARCH, DISSECTING EXAMPLES, GROUP DISCUSSION HEAVILY-CURATED, FRONT FACING FEED OF RESULTS FROM RESEARCH, MUSEUM-LIKE

DISCORD

300 USERS

FREE DISCUSSION AND SHARING OF EXAMPLES, SMALL COMMUNITY

ARE.NA

75 USERS

BLOCK-BASED, INTENSIVE RESEARCH WITHIN A SMALL COMMUNITY

INSTAGRAM

1000 FOLLOWERS

HEAVILY-CURATED, FRONT FACING FEED, BUT ALMOST PURELY VISUAL, LITTLE DISCUSSION


RESEARCH TECHNIQUES THE ARCHIVAL ‘BLACK HOLE’

IN THE TRANSITION TO A MAINLY DIGITAL SOCIETY, THERE HAS BEEN A PERIOD OF TURBULENCE IN THE WAY WE RECORD OUR MEDIA.

1980

MEDIA IS PRIMARILY PHYSICAL, AND RELIABLE AS A HISTORICAL SOURCE, THOUGH INACCESSIBLE TO MANY

2000

MEDIA IS BEING TRANSITIONED ONTO THE INTERNET, OFTEN IN LOW RESOLUTION OR OBSOLETE FORMATS

2020

WITH DATA STORAGE AND THE INTERNET MATURING, DIGITAL RECORDS ARE MORE ACCESSIBLE


RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO AESTHETIC RESEARCH - PUBLICLY AVAILABLE PHYSICAL RECORDS (MAGAZINES, BOOKS, CD’S) - ARCHIVE.ORG (WAYBACK MACHINE) - ONLINE SCANNED ARCHIVES (GOOGLE, POPULAR SCIENCE, VOGUE, ETC.) - CONTACTING THE ORIGINAL DESIGNERS - AMAZON BOOKS - MACHINE LEARNING ALGORITHMS (REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH, FLICKR)


MEDIA COVERAGE

INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES, CONSUMER RESEARCH


INFLUENCE ON DESIGN WORK COLLABORATION, INSPIRATION


WHERE WE’RE HEADED

POTENTIAL VALUE FOR ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN ANALYZING REVIVAL MOVEMENTS, RECREATING LOST ATMOSPHERES


QUESTIONS?


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