Below are the final artworks for my Digital Artefact ‘Vaporgong’.
My first artwork features some of, what I feel, are great elements of Wollongong e.g. the beach, the mall and the botanic gardens. The botanic gardens, specifically the ‘desert’ section, are represented in the foreground of the artwork through the cactus and native waratahs. I also wanted to reference a bit of Wollongong’s music scene, particularly before technology took over and impacted the sales of cd’s. This is represented through the redback spider with headphones on, symbolising the ‘Redback Music’ store, which is now gone. The pink structure, next to ‘Forever New’ used to stand as the entry to Crown Street mall. Its architecture, I feel, is very evocative of the late 80’s-90’s and plays upon the theme of nostalgia that is inherent within vaporwave art.
Photomosh was used to enhance my artworks vaporwave qualities.
I also used Photomosh to create gifs out of my works.
This artwork is meant to flow on from the first, in the way that is explores the lighthouse and beach aspect of Wollongong a bit more. It features a picture I took of a surfer on south beach and an image of the continental pools near north beach which were edited in photoshop. The background was appropriated and recontextualised from an internet image and the skyline of the steelworks is featured due to its presence from south beach as well as its impact on many families in the Wollongong region over the years. These elements come together to create a nostalgic and familiar piece and work to document the history and experiences associated with this place.
Photomosh effects to enhance the vaporwave aesthetic:
Artwork 3 (variations):
I had a rough idea for what I wanted my third artwork to include, however, I was at a loss regarding how the ideas within it would come together as a unified collective and how it would link to my other artworks. In saying this, I needed to make sure there was a good blend of recognisable old and new elements of Wollongong so that the meaning would not get lost amongst the vaporwave aesthetic. My aim was to create a ‘gamer’ themed piece that included older gaming past times e.g. Timezone and ten pin bowling. In order to make sure my target audience understood this, I experimented with the skyline of Mount Keira.
I feel the background along with the awkwardly layered text gives this piece a very VHS pop and cyberpunk vaporwave style, because it doesnt really flow or make sense from a visual perspective. This is good in terms of fitting in with the genre, but not good in terms of relating to my target audience; its too vague and ambiguous. This ultimately disconnects it from my other pieces.
This artwork features Wollongong’s Regent Theatre interior as the background. Again, the aesthetic is very VHS pop and cyberpunk vaporwave but this time incorporates more aspects of Wollongong. However, I don’t feel that these are recognisably Wollongong yet.
This work incorporates Bellambi’s Northern Bowls bowling alley sign and Wollongong’s old ‘TimeZone’ arcade. This time I focused on including a recognisable part of Wollongong that the majority of its visitors and its dwellers see almost everyday: the Mount Keira skyline. This skyline looks over Wollongong everyday and I feel its appearance is quite important to our identity as a place. I still feel the artwork is very random and does not really flow with the other two, however it still references a good amount of Wollongong, its history and its lifestyle from the 90s – onwards. Additionally, the two cartoon silhouettes are also from the exterior of the Northern Bowls building:
Once again, I used photomosh to further the vaporwave aesthetic within these variations:
I am quite happy with how these artworks turned out, and my ability to use photoshop and illustrator to re-imagine Wollongong as a vaporwave landscape.
If you got this far, I am very impressed and very appreciative. I hope you enjoyed looking through these artworks and that they provided you with some inspiration or positivity.
Thank you 🙂