Scroll Art 11/20/23 - 11/26/23
art from tiktok and instagram reels that i liked
posted by TikTok user lizzievatis on Nov 20 (link)
This is a TikTok about seniors graduating college and spending time together before they go their separate ways. It’s signature Gen-Z self-awareness, where culture has made them aware of the feelings they’re going to have in the future, so they preemptively nostalgize and romanticize the present.
This TikTok has four shots in it, but I just screenshot the first one. This shot is like a still-life painting, with the mason jar and cocktail and candle and charcuterie board and crystal and flower vase and film camera all visually pleasingly laid out on the table. Practically, there was no way they were alternating between using all these objects when they were not filming, but there’s nothing wrong with a little artifice when it makes a pretty image.
posted by Instagram Reels user chicagoismyboyfriend on Sep 22 (link)
Gilmore Girls ran on television in the early 2000s, but it was immortalized on streaming services and still maintains a strong following. I haven’t watched Gilmore Girls end-to-end, but I’ve absorbed parts of many episodes from my sisters watching it around me, so I understand it as a “vibe” more than as a narrative, but luckily that’s how most people talk about it. Gilmore Girls is an aspirational status show, set in New England, the aspirational status corner of America. Young female protagonist Rory is very smart, attends a private boarding school and eventually Yale, but she is raised by a single mother Lorelai. Lorelai sacrificed her own shot at status when she became pregnant with Rory, so Rory must reach up to the cultured heights that her mother was not able to reach.
When I talk about art as aspirational, I almost always mean it in the sense that The Last Psychiatrist talks about in this piece. TLP talks about this in branding terms, but I think it’s true of art too, especially in an era where people brand themselves with the art that they like. The important takeaway of aspirational art is that it’s not people who currently are coastal elite Ivy League grads that listen to Vampire Weekend and watch Gilmore Girls; it’s people who want to be, even if that desire is only brief and fleeting. Aspirational art as opposed to representational art.
I thought this TikTok was funny because it takes aspirational New England status and transfers it to midwestern capital Chicago, which is a little less aspirational. But many of the status symbols of Gilmore Girls: bookstores, gazebos, old buildings, are available everywhere, and people on Instagram Reels like this sort of guide to imagine their life as part of the narrative even while it ostensibly pushes against the way that narrative functions as a brand.
posted by TikTok user loganaf on Nov 26 (link)
Modern gambling culture is really interesting to me. In “The Dark Statistician Guide to the Office March Madness Pool” I wrote that “gambling today is ruled by vampiric bureaucracies who tempt warm flesh into their perfectly-calculated lairs with shining lights on screens” and I stand by that. The gambling industry has been very financially successful over the past few years as gambling apps decreasing barriers to giving them money.
Sometimes I think it’s funny to see how the people who are tempted into the lairs see themselves. From a probabilistic perspective, obviously the comment does not make sense, and I doubt the person who posted it thought it made sense, but it’s a fun way to see gambling as destiny where luck is something you can control. Gambling is also a super male hobby and I think the guy holding the giant rack of cash in his only-half ironic pro-gambling TikTok captures that.
Posted by TikTok user django_music on Nov 23 (link)
This is one of many iterations of an entrenched viral concept: “dating apps aren’t working so I’m going to look confused in X public space and hope someone comes up to me that way”. Here’s a few more I found with a really simple Twitter search.
It’s sort of sad that people see their lives as so mediated through dating apps that they switch to reality when those fail. It’s a joke, but people usually say what they mean when they’re joking. Picking physical locations as stages for identity performance in reality is a very 21st century way to see the world. I found this particular TikTok’s version of the joke funny because he spelled it like “isle” and because the Barnes and Noble philosophy section has always been a funny place to me. It doesn’t have a wide selection and it’s pretty expensive. The Barnes and Noble philosophy section is often used by beginning philosophers who haven’t learned how to navigate used bookstores yet, so you see some fun book-object selections coming out of them.
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posted by TikTok user jesskeo on Nov 18
This video uses the physical world as a stage in a completely different way than the prior. She takes the real city of Vienna, and turns it into a stage on which she recreates a film that was set there. I thought it was very sweet the way this TikTok took the film’s love for place to the next level, by going back to the same places that the art visited. The places already were stages for Before Sunrise, but now they’re revisited by civilians to make more art appreciating and remaking the places as stages.
Other TikToks I took screenshots of this week: