Endless scrolling on TikTok at 2am has become a common experience for many people these days, and if you’re one of those people (myself included), you’ve probably seen a video like this:
You say to yourself, “Okay.” “This is kind of sad, but also the same.” You keep scrolling and you find it another one. And another one. And another one. These TikToks all share the same traits: massively edited clips of existing media, a very fast editing style, and dark, sad music. They all share the same hashtag: #core.
Before you start assuming I’m just making up words, the hashtag #corecore, and its cousin #nichetok, have a combined 600 million views on the social media platform at the time of writing. At first glance, #corecore videos appear to be a no-nonsense collection of videos that communicate a common message. However, it is the idea of corecore and what it can (or could) represent that has given rise to what some consider an authentic Gen-Z art form.
What is Corcore?
Corecore is an aesthetic trend on TikTok that derives its name from an ironic use of the -core suffix. In the modern internet age, the suffix -core is used to describe common ideas of culture, genres, or aesthetics and group them all into one group category – think cottagecore or goblincore (Which in turn comes from the hardcore music genre, and the tendency of newer hardcore-related subgenres to use -core as a suffix, as in “emo-core”). So by its name, corecore makes itself sound like the antithesis of the same genre; Their content can be anything and their creators can use any type of medium to convey a central premise. The Corecore page on Know Your MemeThe website states that the trend “plays on the primary suffix by creating a ‘core’ from the collective consciousness of all the ‘cores’.”
Dear Spotify wrapper, what the f*ck is Goblincore?
Kieran Press-Reynolds, digital culture blogger who first wrote about corecore in november 2022, is an eagle-eyed trend-watcher and writes extensively on small niche websites. He told Mashable that corecore is basically a counter trend that can be loosely defined as similar and contrasting visual and audio segments intended to evoke some form of emotion.
“They’re like meme ballads, filled with short film clips, music, and soundtracks that are often a little nostalgic, nihilistic, or poignant,” Press-Reynolds told me via email. When I wrote about the genre in late November, most of the popular clips I saw were really, really crazy — those quick 15-second clips of surreal memes (like cute cats, alpha wolf mods) with intense music (draining Gang). and other internet rap) which didn’t make much obvious sense other than a fun rush of recognizable audiovisual material.”
While the short-form meme montage style has been around since the early days of Youtube (remember the Youtube Poop), according to Know Your Meme, the hashtag itself was First seen on Tumblr in 2020. However, corecore on Tumblr, and especially Twitter, only existed as an expression of the literal definition of core, created out of users’ frustrations with being oversaturated with the concept of “-cores”.
Incidentally, Corecore is not the same as nichetok, though to many users on TikTok the terms seem interchangeable. for clarity, Know your meme says nichetok is an aesthetic movement consisting mostly of gossip that denotes many audiences, subcultures, and genres—requiring one to have specialty Understand TikTok trends.
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New life on TikTok
Chase DiBenedetto also wrote for Mashable, “TikTok has shifted many Gen Z users toward romanticizing Millennium (and Tumblr) aesthetics, from fashion to technology.” Just like the YouTube Poop before it, corecore is basically a new take on an old premise. While #corecore is around on Twitter and Tumblr as fun ways towards a saturated naming convention, the same aesthetic gained new life when introduced to TikTok.
TikTok is adding new life to the old internet
Some of the first seminal videos to hit TikTok were posted around January 2021, according to Press-Reynolds and Know Your Meme. The first TikToks media found linked together to push a specific message, either with an extension Anti-capitalism or Environmentalists Diagonal. When done right, a content creator can, in sequence, splice together a 30-year-old movie clip, an unrelated actor interview, and random explanatory stills of a house tour, to create a convincing impression that hints at meaning, but may be nothing more than sentiment. .
“I think there is a kind of therapeutic quality to these videos for some people,” said Press-Reynolds. The chaotic and disordered composition of these passages […] He brilliantly captures the feelings of technological chaos and boredom that I think a lot of young people associate with nowadays. It’s like an ointment for TikTok’s broken minds.”
However, there are no Corecore modifications in binary. Some can be hilariously incomprehensible meme pranks, bordering on Dada-style collage art and other mods are just clips of cats and Fortnite mashed together (It is also referred to as #pinkcore). Some of the most popular directories of Corecore mods have included British football clips, Family manAnd blade runner 2049, Any clip of Jake Gyllenhaal screaming and sad music (usually a soft piano tune or Aphex Twin).
This is what makes the essence interesting: one’s feelings that cannot be expressed through words are instead presented through images. Whether that emotion is happiness, fear of the future, or the excitement of falling in love, the primary adjustments, through the use of multimedia, speak to our shared experience. This is what One describes Youtube creator “As a beautiful art form, it fits our generation perfectly.”
Corecore stands for the opposite of what we perceive as memes. With memes, a section of a movie or TV is separated from its source, and takes on a life of its own so that you don’t even know what the original context was. In a basic post, the snippets don’t make sense individually, but when connected, the video gives them a common context, and thus a certain power. Corecore mods made as a whole then create a more powerful bond between listeners of the genre, something it doesn’t Too bad It can make a meme on Twitter.
Bryce-Reynolds says he believes Korekur is a true art movement, although not in the traditional sense. “The videos are simple but have a lot of emotional expression—or if they’re not, that still says something, the ridiculous realism of the vibe.”
Is the TikTok trend over?
Wasted Potential, or Natural Evolution?
corecore and nichetok hashtags account for around 600 million views, making it an increasingly popular trend on TikTok. Ironically, however, the promise of what corecore could be, as a counter-trend art form, was ruined by its direction.
as pointed out fans And Critics From corecore, one of the problems with any trend that has become popular on TikTok, and social media in general, is that in the end, the rat race to recreate already trendy content dilutes the original purpose of corecore.
I don’t see how culture can continue to fragment and grow increasingly decentralized without hitting some sort of dead end – people can’t keep creating cores and cores and cores forever.
Matt Lawrence points this out in his TikTok about misuse of corecore. In his video, he says that “people are taking these movements with strong political ideologies, completely unplugging them from that, and turning them into soulless, no-nonsense aesthetic trends.” He concludes that although he does not know the reason for this, he believes that users do not want to be intellectually engaged with the art they are consuming.
In his video on the subject of corecore and Gen-Z’s obsession with self-pitya YouTuber known as Angle says TikTok has become a dumping ground for “excessively pathetic forms of content” and expresses disappointment with the direction the underlying trend is headed.
“Gen-Z as a whole is constantly taking things from old ideas and updating them in a socially acceptable way, only to get over it and deal with the next thing in a few months,” he says in his video. More or less my interest [corecore] is that something unique and different, exclusive to the internet kids of our time, is being wasted because of this same generation’s habit of running things off the ground for internet points.”
He continues, noting that when he comes across corecore videos now, they are lazy attempts to describe a feeling (using the same clips and music) that usually boils down to “she left, she took the kids”.
“You can start to feel like you’re listlessly surfing, your mind overwhelmed with hashtags, engulfed in a digital darkness of media that never affects you deeply, but kind of hits you like weak tides,” Bryce Reynolds said. . “I don’t see how culture can continue to fragment and grow increasingly decentralized without hitting some sort of dead end — people can’t keep creating cores and cores and kurkors forever.”
Corecore hasn’t quite hit the mainstream just yet, but there’s a really hot question about what happens when it does: Can it avoid being yet another in an endless revolving door of fads and aesthetics floating around that are meaningless, even rather frustrating, like, well, video corecore?