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Author Topic: The Revival Beyond The Web  (Read 2240 times)
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« on: July 13, 2022 @592.33 »

Many people who are participating in the retro web revival also seem to be reviving some other things — we have seen mixtapes getting back into circulation, people leaving their smartphones behind, old technology being utilized once more... do you think this can become a whole subculture? An anti-capitalist revival of the past, with associated clothing styles, slang, hobbies, meeting places?

Like, imagine just the same as there is a blues bar or a punk pub today, we'd all gather to drink homemade lemonade in a retro themed internet café...

I'd dedicate this thread to that effort. lol
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2022 @641.06 »

Great idea for a thread. :smile:

We always tend to romanticise the past, but there does seem to be a growing awareness and resentment of how a lot of recent technical innovation isn't really done with our best interest in mind, and how even the genuinely well intentioned stuff can be too much of a good thing. We get a little bit of everything, all of the time.

I recently read Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman and he spends a little time talking about how the scarcity is really the point of a lot of activities. In your limited lifespan, you've decided to spend precious minutes picking out a handful of songs for someone you care about instead of sending a link to an algorithmically generated Spotify playlist, or hand writing a postcard instead of sending a DM or even using something like Moonpig.

I'm a little wary of a sort of reactionary shunning of technology (where would I be without Google Maps? Really, where?) if it's more about aesthetic than any sort of philosophical rejection of being wrung out for your data and attention, but it does feel like the pendulum is hopefully swinging away from being as jacked-in as possible all of the time.

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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2022 @642.01 »

I think it has been a subculture for some time. As much as I'd love to say it's anti-capitalist, companies and scalpers are taking advantage of us with the latter making us pay much more for things that use to cost us pennies and the former making half-baked nostalgia catering films and games for a quick buck.

Like, imagine just the same as there is a blues bar or a punk pub today, we'd all gather to drink homemade lemonade in a retro themed internet café...

I'd dedicate this thread to that effort. lol

I do love this idea, though I doubt they'd ever have anything like that where I live.

(where would I be without Google Maps? Really, where?)

Probably using an actual map, or MapQuest. Or any of the many GPSes that were around before Google Maps was. :wink:
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022 @643.58 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2022 @690.01 »

I think it has been a subculture for some time. As much as I'd love to say it's anti-capitalist, companies and scalpers are taking advantage of us with the latter making us pay much more for things that use to cost us pennies and the former making half-baked nostalgia catering films and games for a quick buck.

Well, that only really applies to nostalgia-as-an-aesthetic, which is not really what I meant. The great thing about the retro web revival in my opinion is the utilization of obsolete technology and aesthetic for a creative, personal, remixed expression in a DIY fashion.

Old movie and game remakes and nostalgia fuelled retro bait do not really fit there in my opinion. I was thinking a much more DIY focused subculture, seizing the tools with which they build their (internet, movies, beverages, food, clothing, commodities,...) and doing it yourself.

Just like we are doing it with the web. They won't give us a noncommercial way to express ourselves? Then we are going to self host and learn how to do it ourselves, by taking long obsolete (and therefore cheap and no longer exploitable) technologies to make them our home.

Fanfiction for old TV series is more like what I had in mind. Sewing your own clothes from old material, or simply wearing leftovers. Learning how to do your own hair without following predatory trends. Making your own cola with a self-printed vaporwave label instead of buying Coke. That stuff.

I think the essence is: take retro aesthetics and rob them of their origins, turning them into DIY projects.
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2022 @741.61 »

Probably using an actual map, or MapQuest. Or any of the many GPSes that were around before Google Maps was. :wink:

Massively overestimating my capacity for forward planning. :smile: That does highlight an area where smart phones are super useful in a way that's tough to replicate with traditional/single-purpose tech: stuff you didn't realise was going to be useful until it's too late.
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2022 @749.06 »

Yep old tech as a form of anti-corporate activism has been a thing.. pretty much forever; particularly in creative communities like arts and music! Its intresting that its started to spred into the tech world and other areas of life in the last few years tooo. Although that said, the whole cassette revival was really kicked off by The Guardians of the Galaxy :omg:k:

I like to aim for a balance; you don't need everything to be high spec 100% new all the time. My main TV is a 480p projector, but it has a Fire TV stick stuck in it; so its a mix of high tech and low tech thats perfect for me.

Related though, Iv been thinking about the artistic movement side of the web revival recently https://wiki.melonland.net/new_net_art and what kinda mediums can be related to the web revival. I think since digital life is so intertwined with regular life now its fair to say that ANYTHING can be part of the web revival, offline, online or a mix of both!
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2022 @806.25 »

I have thought about a catchier name than "retro web revival", and decided to go with an acronym from here on out:

RAWR
which stands for Retro-aesthetic Web Revival. :4u:

It's a bit less clumsy than writing the whole thing out every time, and it is a big subculture by now with barely any cohesion beyond communities like Neocities. Sometimes I think that it'll spread very soon into some kind of mainstream and then explode in popularity. x3
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2022 @835.23 »

RAWR
which stands for Retro-aesthetic Web Revival. :4u:

Well done, you’ve caused me actual physical pain.

I love it.
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2022 @862.53 »

RAWR
which stands for Retro-aesthetic Web Revival. :4u:

This gives me "rawr x3" vibes
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2022 @864.81 »



This gives me "rawr x3" vibes

That was the idea. :tongue:
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2022 @795.17 »

For me it boils down to dislike of advertising and a desire for physical and offline media. I haven't made the switch to a flip phone yet but I'm considering going for one next because of how much advertising smart phones throw at you, and I want to get an MP3 player to couple it for when I go out.

I also love collection retro video games and tend to pirate because I disagree with how expensive the market is. There's also a case of my old 3DS which is fully disconnected and the only updates I got were from games I had, vs. my Switch which shows me the Nintendo news feed every time I turn it on. I'm getting more into collecting CDs, DVD, and VHS tapes too because I just like having physical media and the bonus features are something I love.

For the nostalgic revival I think a lot of that might have to do more with self expression. People are drawn to scene and emo again because of the venue for self expression that has been dulled down in more recent years, and I've noticed many of us seem to enjoy old web because of how we can use it as a creative outlet and many of the key points people make when we talk about why we do old-internet revival is self-expression.
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2022 @881.09 »

For me it boils down to dislike of advertising and a desire for physical and offline media. I haven't made the switch to a flip phone yet but I'm considering going for one next because of how much advertising smart phones throw at you, and I want to get an MP3 player to couple it for when I go out.

I also love collection retro video games and tend to pirate because I disagree with how expensive the market is. There's also a case of my old 3DS which is fully disconnected and the only updates I got were from games I had, vs. my Switch which shows me the Nintendo news feed every time I turn it on. I'm getting more into collecting CDs, DVD, and VHS tapes too because I just like having physical media and the bonus features are something I love.

For the nostalgic revival I think a lot of that might have to do more with self expression. People are drawn to scene and emo again because of the venue for self expression that has been dulled down in more recent years, and I've noticed many of us seem to enjoy old web because of how we can use it as a creative outlet and many of the key points people make when we talk about why we do old-internet revival is self-expression.
That actually reminds me. I make mixtapes of internet-only songs I enjoy, so I can listen to them without needing the internet, and have been doing the same with Youtube videos to VHS. Although I don't watch the latter as often as I'd thought, but it's cool that the option is there! To an ever lesser extent, I also burn digital-only games onto disc and make custom covers and CD art for them.

I've noticed that it's changed my reaction to a song being digital only from "I refuse to even listen to it unless it's on a CD or record" to "Ah well, time to record it on cassette!".

In other words, it makes me feel like I'm taking matters into their own hands, which is kinda cool.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022 @884.28 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2022 @97.12 »

SNIP
That actually reminds me. I make mixtapes of internet-only songs I enjoy, so I can listen to them without needing the internet, and have been doing the same with Youtube videos to VHS. Although I don't watch the latter as often as I'd thought, but it's cool that the option is there! To an ever lesser extent, I also burn digital-only games onto disc and make custom covers and CD art for them.

I've noticed that it's changed my reaction to a song being digital only from "I refuse to even listen to it unless it's on a CD or record" to "Ah well, time to record it on cassette!".

In other words, it makes me feel like I'm taking matters into their own hands, which is kinda cool.

That's really cool! Have you ever thought about putting up pics of your homemade collection on your website? I've got several mixtapes I've made myself and I've been considering setting up a page for them, especially because I have a lot of fun doing the artwork. I love looking at others' collections, though.
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2022 @773.55 »

That's really cool! Have you ever thought about putting up pics of your homemade collection on your website?

Well, I haven't made any artwork or anything for them. I just recorded songs, wrote a title on the default slips and stickers, and called it a day. ^^"

I guess if people want to see those anyway, I could upload some photos.
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2022 @606.00 »

this has been a topic i've been thinking a lot about lately, even before i got involved with the web revival. it seems like the web and retro-tech revivals are just one aspect of a greater movement against modern society's hostility towards creativity and self-expression. modern society dictates that everything must be professional, soulless, and focused entirely on "being productive" - if you're not furthering capitalism, then you're doing something wrong. a large amount of "advancements" in consumer technology that have occurred in the past ~10-15 years are a direct result of this societal shift, so most of these "advancements" have actually been downgrades to the usability and UX of these technologies, and are detrimental to the people who use them.

what industrial designers of today have forgotten is that human factors like aesthetics, tactility, and customization are just as important - if not more so - than the raw functionality of the tech, and actually naturally improve the raw functionality when incorporated and accounted for. however, because those things take actual effort and creativity to design and don't directly make the manufacturer more money in the short-term, they've been left behind by society's ruthless pursuit of Productivity™. i could write many more paragraphs on my thoughts on this topic, but i'm just way too tired at the moment. :p

That actually reminds me. I make mixtapes of internet-only songs I enjoy, so I can listen to them without needing the internet, and have been doing the same with Youtube videos to VHS. Although I don't watch the latter as often as I'd thought, but it's cool that the option is there! To an ever lesser extent, I also burn digital-only games onto disc and make custom covers and CD art for them.

I've noticed that it's changed my reaction to a song being digital only from "I refuse to even listen to it unless it's on a CD or record" to "Ah well, time to record it on cassette!".

In other words, it makes me feel like I'm taking matters into their own hands, which is kinda cool.
i love this idea! i've been wanting to design my own CD releases of digital-only albums and games too, but i don't currently have access to a decent color printer, so i'll have to wait until i can get my paws on one to make nice-looking labels and jewel cases.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2022 @704.29 by Frost Sheridan » Logged

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