From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


A Wikipedia-themed image with vaporwave elements

Alternative forms[edit]


From vapor(ware) +‎ -wave.



vaporwave (uncountable)

  1. (music, art) A genre of electronic music and visual arts style that emerged in the early 2010s. As a musical genre, it evolved from chillwave and seapunk with influences from lounge music, elevator music, smooth jazz, and 1980s dance-pop. As an aesthetic, it is influenced by 1990s web design and digital art, anime, and cyberpunk.
    • 2016, Grafton Tanner, Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave And The Commodification Of Ghosts, John Hunt Publishing, →ISBN, page 7:
      Largely ignored by the mainstream press, vaporwave has instead flourished on websites such as Bandcamp and SoundCloud and on Reddit [] Because vaporwave exists almost entirely outside the sphere of PR and the music industry at large, it has tremendous “underground” appeal. [] Vaporwave is critical of Western culture's preoccupation with the past, but it is not the only art form to call our collective regression into question.
    • 2016 August 18, “How Vaporwave Was Created Then Destroyed by the Internet”, in Esquire[1]:
      Vaporwave arose in reaction to huge economic and social forces that are still very much a part of our lives: globalization, runaway consumerism, and manufactured nostalgia chief among them.
    • 2019 January 8, Kate Carraway, “How to Make a Millennial Feel Cozy in Just One Beverage”, in New York Times[2]:
      Recess’s website features the charms of vaporwave internet art and Lisa Frank-style nostalgia, while their Instagram account evokes the combined look of “Endless Summer” with “Floridian retiree” and the summer-camp psychedelia that has replaced “Lifestyle Lumberjack” as the default millennial style choice.
    • 2019, Emile Frankel, Hearing the Cloud: Can Music Help Reimagine The Future?[3], John Hunt Publishing, →ISBN:
      The haunting affect of Vaporwave's ghostly music is clearly seductive to a political moment which revels in dystopia, the golden years of the 90s and the sounds of the 90s: financial boom, pedestalled American Dreams and []

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]