Assignment #13 – Vapor Wave

Vapor Wave is a sub-genre of electronic music. It is also a form of visual art and internet meme that emerged in the early 2010s. At its core, Vapor Wave as a visual art style is an integration of several art forms which include; glitch art, anime, 3d renders of images, pixelated images and significant attributes of retro artworks.

For a period of time, Vapor Wave aesthetics influenced aspects of mainstream music videos with Rihanna the most notable artiste whose music video contained known aspects of the aesthetic.

From the perspective of a journalist and also on a personal level, I cannot say I hate Vapor Wave as an art form because all forms of art are meant to be expressive and inspiring. So if it exists, then there’s certainly a creative edge to it. It’s bold as it’s daring. More importantly it works perfectly as a creative tool for storytelling.

That also doesn’t mean I like it either and that is for the simple reason that the sub-genre is not as clearly defined as all other forms of art I know of. Throwing some Renaissance era sculptures on a backdrop of dimly intense color(s) with some geometric lines and other random 3d images does tell a story but it’s just not the kind of visual art that I am accustomed to.

Photo was downloaded from

So you can say that I am somewhere in between.

The Vapor Wave aesthetic is distorted at best with no clear rules or guidelines as to how to create art within its confines which I think is the point all along. Freedom of artistic expression with very little inhibitions.

Having said that, I think the Vapor Wave aesthetic didn’t last long as a mainstream art form because of this same reason i.e not being clearly defined.
A lot of criticisms on its style and substance and the fact that it didn’t adapt overtime means it’s now less a staple than it was in the early 2010s.