You Got Mail! Hypnos & Art: A Directional ̶M̶a̶n̶i̶f̶e̶s̶t̶o̶ Ramble
and old-web nativity
the existential nature of dreams inspires the art direction of The Land of Hypnos. what wonders - or horrors that you witness while asleep and the lasting effect it has both inside and outside of reality.
feelings of gritty playfulness and nostalgia widely inspire our project's aesthetic, surreal fragments of our childhood memories placed together, transposed with the state of quickly progressing technology and the culture it manifests. This includes inspiration from environments of both the digital and physical forms ranging from the '80s to the '00s and merging them with this era’s artistic progressions/concepts. - and our new understanding of web art culture. (think ‘cores’ + ‘aesthetics’)
This involves taking inspiration from these early cultural movements and integrating them into this new-era of digital human expression. Culture is forever moving and changing, recycling through ideas and concepts until they grow and shrink, a perpetual cycle. an electronic breath! <3
why 80s to 00s?
the birth of web1 was truly on its cusp during the years of the prior decade, which has grown into one the most, if not the most powerful revolutions of community + communication as we know it.
The internet was fresh. web2 had not been the default yet, and expression and motivation to self-educate and create your realm in a digital facility was at an all-time high. Internet users were taking control over their own footprint, styles of communication (think text tones and smilies) and identities. They were also in-control of their own means of communication (forums, email, AIM) This was shown to shift digital artwork into new, fascinating use cases, mediums, and formats. Stylizing your communication and impression on this digital landscape was born. You also had little to no algorithm choosing the content at hand, (we had GOOD algos, like StumbleUpon) allowing for a more unique and personal experience of consuming content online. You could spend hours rabbit-holing informational or artistic links that were not found through a newsfeed. This was also the birth of what we now describe as the old-web aesthetic, which consisted of the early stylization of html webpages. This digital era was also ushering in the kaybug style, or y2k futurism seamlessly with the help of the web & rave culture, which were also growing in tandem.
“Rave — created by kids, for kids in the 1990s — flourished on the Internet and mirrored its rise." - How The Internet Transformed The American Rave Scene
(This was also including online functionality in consoles and emerging conceptual communication devices such as Cybiko) The creative direction of this project is also heavily inspired by '90s-'00s artwork outside of (but propelled by) the culture of the internet. This creates a mishmash of inspirations such as psychedelic existential dreamlike RPGmaker indie titles like Yume Nikki/Space Funeral, gritty, self-aware comics like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. The surreal, psychological horror themes of Silent Hill. The whimsical, childlike nostalgia of the Sega Dreamcast and early Nintendo. The unique idiosyncratic styles of 80s-00s anime and manga growing in popularity (NGE, Aeon Flux.) Most especially, the in-between period of web1 to web2 which was encouraging culture through flash games. Sites such as Newgrounds were creating niche communities for animation, music, and games... Sites such as Gaia/Habbo were housing expression through dress-up and roleplay. The list goes on.
geocities and custom webpages existed as your facebook/twitter page, and social media such as myspace, unlike the current state of social media, was an opt-in communicative tool that carried the final remnants of web1 coding and personalization. When myspace died, a piece of the culture of digital identity did, too.
I believe web3 captures a similar ethos to web1, two of which prioritizes the user and the connection between one another. web1 and web3 both represent ownership and expression. the nature of the blockchain stands without the ability to be compromised. this can have obvious pros and cons as with most “tools,” but within this immutable source of information lies the purpose of decentralization and source. pros and cons exist in both the non-permanence of web1 and the permanence of web3. (actions should match our beliefs and passions, but should the footprint of our digital path be relentlessly permanent? could the interlinked footprint of our digital path hold us more accountable? should it? do we need all of this information tucked away somewhere? Is this expression? Is this *human?*)
But in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulated every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. Rumors about petty issues, misinterpretations, slander... All of this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate.” –"Colonel" AI, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001) INFORMATION WARFARE
Merging the aesthetic representations of both cultures has found to be limitlessly interesting to me. It urges me as the creator to make visual and conceptual sense of the pieces of the ever-customizable bb-coded internet/art scene that I had access to in 2002 and merges it with a new (what I consider to be) a revolutionary movement for digital art + artists. one not meant to replace the old, but to introduce new solutions to the landscape of the digital creative. which considering how fresh the internet is, remains still ever-growing and changing. even digital art is ...new.
"I have seen a lot of memes and posts in the last week from the digital art advocate groups once again trying to push the BS that there is no difference" - Ed Beard Jr, renowned Magic the Gathering artist stands against digital art having the same value or skill as physical art. Yes or No? (...you know my answer. no one tell him about AI art, alright?)
what exists behind the web and real life can have many similarities to the experience of dreams, two separate worlds with two separate portals and two separate instances only accessed through two separate lenses. i believe the internet, MMOs.. or what we are now re-branding as the metaverse is the closest expression we have of sharing our own "dreams." a virtually tangible-yet-not expression of consciousness deep within, rendered unexplorable without the proper mediums to do so. Creating these explorable worlds becomes more and more accessible to the everyday person (roblox/sl/vrchat) most importantly the interactivity and immersion of the internet allows this physical barrier to be broken.
similar to dreams, our project is always evolving in terms of how it is (artistically) perceived, through themes depicted by a collective of like-minded yet idiosyncratic artists & builders. There's no one complete piece of a story. Rather, the entire journey of our work is made of varying displays of visuals, pieces, narratives. Some of a philosophical nature, some of a whimsical one, or one with nothing to say at all.