[ISEA2022] Paper: Ezequiel Soriano Gómez — Internet vernacular creativity: Vaporwave, counterculture and copyright


Full Paper. Session: Educations and Societies / Vernacular creativity and reflective practices

Keywords: Digital Culture, Creativity, Post-Internet, Copyright, Memes

In this text I show how Internet copyright laws and technologies traverse vaporwave’s creative processes. An approach to digital countercultural or folkloric movements is proposed.

This article stems from ethnographic fieldwork I carried out in 2019 on the virtual platforms where vaporwave is developed. Vaporwave is a countercultural phenomenon between a musical genre and a meme developed entirely on the Internet since 2010. In this text I show how copyright laws and technologies operating in the context of vaporwave’s creation traverse and affect its creative forms and processes. Based on this case study of Internet vernacular creativity, I encourage an approach to digital countercultural or folkloric movements by putting into dialogue their symbolic dimension and the sociological, technological and legal bases on which they develop.

  • Ezequiel Soriano Gómez (ES) works about the internet, folklore and appropriation through ethnography, artistic experimentation and post-digital publishing. He is currently resident at La Escocesa and Santa Mónica art centre and researcher at Mediaccions (Open University of Catalonia). He manages the publishing lab ‘Artefactos Nativos’, whose aim is to print the internet through zines, weird books and unauthorised editions. As a researcher, he is working on his phd about internet vernacular creativity, free culture and experimental collaborations in ethnography.