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Exit reality. Vaporwave, backrooms, weirdcore e altri paesaggi oltre la soglia

“Internet is an alien entity”, announced David Bowie in 1999: today, the prophecy has come true, and our digital tools have become magical portals with mysterious properties, windows that look out onto a dimension bordering between dream and reality. Beyond the mirrors of the screens we carry comfortably in our pockets, we have discovered a region haunted by strange presences – sometimes menacing, sometimes surreal, sometimes fascinating, sometimes senseless. These are the same presences that, over the last fifteen years, have shaped the so-called ‘internet aesthetics’, that set of subcultures, popular narratives and visual and sound languages thanks to which the alien entity has finally declared itself to mankind. The net then reveals itself for what it really is: a threshold as much physical as mental where bizarre things happen, time is distorted, and we find ourselves inhabiting an intermediate dimension, a territory that is “neither here nor there”. Exit reality is the first attempt to map a world that, imbued with disorienting hallucinatory qualities, appears to us as a parallel planet that has emerged from the galaxies of code-space.

Valentina Tanni (Rome, 1976) is an art historian and curator. He is interested in the relationship between art and technology, with particular attention to the cultures of the network. Professor of Digital Art at the Politecnico di Milano and of Aesthetics of New Media at NABA in Rome, for NERO he has already published Memestetica. Il Settembre nero dell’arte (2020).