Lauren Cochrane writes for The Face on indie sleaze and the revival spiral - lots of good thoughts in here and some interesting quotes from others
"We have become pack rats of our collective past.... We’re trapped in what might be called a Revival Spiral. It used to be that time and distance were allowed before present culture plundered... But, in a world where images of the past are just a finger swipe away, all bets are off. We have over-plundered the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Even fetishising Y2K is starting to look a bit tired.The solution? The very recent past. The era in the frame? The mid-to-late Noughties...."
"... the “Indie Sleaze” movement, the revival of a late-Noughties scene where torn band tees dominated, when American Apparel was a shop, not a scandal, when everyone stuck out their tongues and it was a badge of honour to be photographed by party snapper Mark Hunter, aka The Cobrasnake....
".... While some of the current retro culture is anemoia – nostalgia for an era you didn’t live through... The Revival Spiral sees us leaning into a seemingly ever-hastening longing for the recent past. This is possibly because change is constant in digital culture, meaning we’re quickly nostalgic for eras that, on paper, we have only just left.
".... This nostalgic state of mind has been magnified and sped up for a generation who have lived through turbulent times: Trump, Brexit and (there it is) a global pandemic. Pre-2016 might only be seven years ago but, given those global spasms, it feels like a lifetime. To immerse yourself in that time is comforting...
".... Sarah Lloyd is a Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Visual Culture at the University for the Creative Arts. As a researcher in nostalgia in fashion, she argues that the phenomenon is a direct result of the fact that we consume culture like we listen to podcasts: at 1.5x speed.
“The plethora of images and information we are exposed to means we simply cannot process what we’re experiencing,” she says. “For me, revival culture is gaining a sense of control over an ever-shifting cultural landscape and relocating oneself in the recent past in order to fully process the present. [It’s] a way of temporarily stopping time.”.... Lloyd says a solely digital life experience has an effect, too. “When growing up without an iPhone or social media is unimaginable, the relatively recent past seems like ancient history.”
Revival spiral - my term for that (or something close to that) is revival simultaneity, where we're caught in the cross-fire of multiple revivals and re-revivals going on at the same time.
Interestingly Cochrane starts the piece referencing a 1983 piece in The Face piece by Jon Savage, "The Age of Plunder" - about the rise of pomo pop - which intensifies the feeling of recursion and spiraling echoes of echoes of echoes... as retro intensifies and infolds, so does the commentary on it, the retro-discourse