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(un)real data | Ep.#5: The Liminal Vibes Beyond Digital Conformity [w/ Valentina Tanni]

Internet aesthetics like vaporwave, the Backrooms and weirdcore seem to offer glimpses of alternate realities beyond the threshold of the real. From Freud’s “uncanny” to hauntology’s spectral futures, these are aesthetics that revel in the strange, the eerie and the infinitely ambiguous – a messy, chaotic antidote to the ruthlessly curated digital landscapes we’re fed today. Art historian and curator Valentina Tanni draws from her latest book Exit Reality and helps us unpack how these liminal aesthetics tap into feelings of ambiguity, the unsettling familiar and nostalgia for futures that never were – a reaction, perhaps, to the relentless corporate co-option and algorithmic control that has degraded so much of online culture into a bland, high-affect “midness”.

Suggested content

[Book] Exit RealityVaporwave, Backrooms, Weirdcore, and Other Landscapes Beyond the Threshold, by Valentina Tanni, published by NERO Editions and Aksioma, 2024

[Interview] Daydreams, Playable Nightmares and Out-of-Body Journeys, Valentina Tanni & Silvia Dal Dosso, PostScriptUM #50, Aksioma, 2024

[Website] Valentina Tanni


Host: Neja Berger
Guest: Valentina Tanni

Recording and editing: Neja Berger
Music and Audio Mix: Gašper Torkar

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art
Ljubljana, 2024

Producer: Marcela Okretič

Part of
Tactics&Practice#15: (un)real data – real effects
Curated by !Mediengruppe Bitnik (Carmen Weisskopf in Domagoj Smoljo)
In collaboration with Janez Fakin Janša

Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

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