TikTok’s ‘corecore’ is the latest iteration of absurd meme art TechCrunch

TikTok goes a little too far when it comes to ranking every last aesthetic in its micro trend. when you notice it Spotify wrapped It calls for your musical taste impOr when you strangely end up at a charity gala in San Francisco and a tech executive asks you if he should worry that his teenage daughter is a geek. Cottagecore (Yes it happened to me). Take any name, add the “core” suffix, and you’re good to go.

There is no more natural end to this phenomenon than in “corecore,” a meta aesthetic of “nichetokWhich uses nihilistic videos to create something so absurd and meaningless that it somehow comes back and makes you feel something. It tends to our drive to hide all our emotions in a dozen layers of irony, but in the process, it gets so serious that it might not even be sexy. Ridiculous after all.

You can look at the file The most popular corecore video, which has 2.2 million likes. It begins with a clip from Calculating Salary Transparency, where people ask strangers what they do and how much money they make. One child says that when he’s older, he wants to be a doctor, and when the host asks him how much he wants, he says, “I’m going to make… people feel alright.” Then, you’re immediately exposed to fast bike clips: time-lapses of a busy street; a man shouting; old people playing slot machines in a casino; TikToker talks about a chicken that lives in the metaverse; People are rushing out of a garage in crisis.

Some corecore videos Looks like they can get out overwrought A documentary that tells really obvious facts about how social media makes us feel lonely; others Does not make sense Absolutely. But most of these videos are bound together by a general malaise—the worry that life has no meaning and that technology is alienating us from each other. Inside corecore, we see clips of bots at CES talking about how people are afraid of them, demos of new VR headsets, and clips from Elon Musk’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast. This lack of confidence in corporate technological innovation is the exact opposite of what is present everywhere.”Day in the life K Technical employeewhich is shockingly not a declining trend big company Advertising psyop (…or is it).

Corecore has been popular on TikTok since late 2022, but techno-futurism and doom vibes seem particularly appropriate now, as we watch MicrosoftAnd The GoogleAnd metaAnd Amazon And sales force All mass layoffs within weeks. These nichetok posters probably don’t relate to the state of tech hiring, but they’re something bigger that includes: how we’re all subjected to the whims of a few Billionair Tech guys who can only decide to buy Twitter or make the word “metaverse” think of normal people. And of course, there’s an added layer of irony that corecore is also part of this ecosystem — people create dedicated TikTok accounts to create their own core groups, promising things like “face reveal” once they reach 10,000 followers, using an anti-capitalist, lonely aesthetic. To achieve social capital.

Corecore isn’t the first meme of its kind. At any given moment in internet culture, there is usually some sort of absurd meme circulating, whether basic, Fried memesAnd Facebook is weirdAnd Bad animation videosor the duplicates on me loss. jpg. That’s because it’s so natural, almost a cliché at this point, to make meaningless art in response to a world that just doesn’t seem to make sense. As anyone who has studied introductory art history knows, this is how Dada artists reacted to the tragedies of World War I—and now, how contemporary meme makers respond to the terrifying realization that we are all addicted to scrolling through short videos. . And this is how the internet’s greatest weirdest minds will react again, the next time the world feels so miserable.

In the end, the only thing that makes sense about corecore is the fact that it exists.

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