The Milan studio/gallery t-space is currently showing Exhibition of the Year 2016, a group exhibition acting as a creative response to Pantone's Color of the Year campaign. LOKI is honoured that the exhibition was developed based on our article "The Propaganda of Pantone: Colour and Subcultural Sublimation", published by Kevin in February. It's inspiring to see how far our words have travelled, and the resonance they are having.
The exhibition features artists Lorenzo Kamerlengo, Luca Loreti and Alessandro Moroni, and is curated by Alberta Romano. T-space aims to promote discourse surrounding design practice, photography, cultural trends, and the research potential of the artist's studio.
A fanzine published by the group in conjunction with the show features a short interview with Kevin, that explores the need for critical thought in design and everyday life, the role of the critical artist living and operating within a neoliberal society, and the perpetual marketization of subcultural aesthetics.
A subculture such as Vaporwave, that uses an engaging and insistent aesthetic to reach its goal, I’m thinking about your definition of a “Jester in the King’s Court”, don’t you think that Vaporwave could find in Pantone’s appropriation, not a brutal sublimation of its content, but its major moment of glorification?
In Pantone’s case, the subculture is not being showcased or promoted (and even if it were, this would most likely lead to dilution and death), it is simply propagating a very specific aesthetic tool (colour) that is part of that subculture, in order to colonize more symbolic territory. This is what makes the tactic different from, and perhaps more insidious than, more traditional forms of corporate co-optation. Furthermore, the goal of reaching the most people, despite a distorted or ineffectual message, is intrinsic to furthering the capitalist notion of infinite growth, and doesn't seem like a very relevant goal, much less a moment of glory. Exposure = Death.
Find t-space on facebook here.