Tag Archives: ffmpeg

The Dream of the 80’s

[play] The Dream of the 80’s (2016)

This is a Vaporwave study.

I’ve recently learned about this genre, which was invented by teenagers doing deconstructive remixes of 80’s and early 90’s commercial culture ephemera. They take audio and video samples of brick and mortar consumer culture and cultural nostalgia to create criticism of pre-online capitalism, as far as I understand it.

I stumbled onto this genre shortly after finishing my Christmas album and realised that that it was very close to what I was already doing. I also had the much more disconcerting twin realisation that early 90’s muzak was a formative musical influence, due to how much I was subject to it during an impressionable age.

For this study, I took the advert for the Cupertino Inn and cut out all of the (extremely awkward) narration and was left only with the very muzak-y background. Because my editing was abrupt cuts, which did not adjust for beat matching, I decided to use granular-style techniques for cutting the audio, but with extremely oversized ‘grains’. I put this over a looped, half speed playback of the cut audio.

For the video, I used ffmpeg to spit out 12 frames a second as jpegs. I then used a python script to glitch every frame and reassembled the video. I editted them together in openshot, which, due to my inexperience, played the video at 12.5 fps, so I looped the closing image.

I picked this advert because I have a relationship with this hotel and because I thought it was extremely odd that they made an advert in 2010 that so completely and unintentionally embraced 80’s nostalgia and human misery. The Cupertino Inn is under new management in the last two years and has updated it’s vibe and furnishings. It is now a nice hotel. You should stay there, not only because I have a financial interest in you doing so.