“Good artists copy, great artists steal” – Picasso.
The idea of craft has become very loose in recent years, with the introduction of the internet. ‘Internet is a tool for making more internet’ – constantly shape-shifting and reforming itself into this massive hub in which anyone can do the impossible.
Changing things that already exist has been happening for years. Being able to appropriate and take from something to make something unique is regarded as being a form of craft.
Take this artwork for example. Andy Warhol, regarded as one of the brilliant mind in 20th century art pop culture, literally drew the same can in each image, only changing the label. These soups exist – none of this is imagined or contemporary, it’s what’s in the world now. Is this art?
Yes. Definitely. The perspective on this soup – Warhol saw an aesthetic that pleased him and created something of meaning to him, and expressed it through the artistic medium.
Great artists such as Daft Punk for many years were sampling disco records they loved. They created something completely new out of what already existed. And, it was welcomed with love and praise. It is also common in styles like hip-hop, where songs would be transformed to create a new experience, a new way to interact with craft – being an active audience member.
Now, let’s think of vaporwave.
The genre born out of aesthetically pleasing… things? It’s the combination of the feeling of nostalgia and what appeals to people – taking appropriation and inspiration from multiple sources and creating a totally new experience. It combines visuals of icons that bring a massive array of belonging, combined with music that is from the past – warped down in pitch with massive delay and reverb applied to give a sense of it being a distant memory.
The internet has welcomed this genre, and a community has gathered to create content – it seems endless. It brings inspiration from sampling artists such as Daft Punk and Justice, and pop culture artists such as Andy Warhol – who took the things they loved and saw aesthetic from to create something unique and new. This is craft, that now with a medium like the internet, it can be interacted with to create more.