What is Vaporwave?

19 September 2022

Cultural development has been in progress for people since the beginning of time. Today, the picture remains the same. For each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, living, embracing, and nurturing cultures continue to make their presence felt. We wanted to sail together on these vast seas and decided to explain the concept of Vaporwave to you. From the birth of this culture to its impact, from the breaks in its development cycle to its future predictions, here it is!

Vaporwave is one of the subcultures created as a reflection of melancholic aesthetics and continues to evolve. Of course, the easiest ways are the ones to help you understand the tricky part, but it is worth taking a look at some of the top cultural products. Because a deep relationship exists between these two concepts.

Including millions of people, superior culture movements of the ’80s and ’90s, music video movements, melancholic artworks, and many other elements can give you a shoulder to lean on to get acquainted with Vaporwave culture. Then it’s time to make a big space in your mind for this huge subculture, so let’s get started if you’re ready!

History of Vaporwave

While we kept talking about the millennium age, a mini millennium had started to happen as early as the mid-80s. All the cultural elements of the time were running away from nostalgia with an innovative and futuristic approach. Of course, the new generation of representatives of the period first emerged from the art scene and started to drag the communities behind them with their productions. Many movements, perspectives, concepts, product habits, and era products have acquired their invisible patent.


What we refer to today as “’80s, 90s” nostalgic movements, products, concepts, vision, and mission values were the best of those times. Now you’re going to say, “Is Vaporwave bringing back those times?“. We can answer both yes and no to this question, but first, let us accompany you in getting to know the history of the movement. Up to this point, you have of course understood that it is all about past bests and visions. However, let’s talk a little bit about how and at what point the Vaporwave subculture started.

Starting in 2011 as one of the internet music genres, the concept of Vaporwave evolved into something completely different after an occasion when a DJ with the punk fashion pseudonym Lil actually entertained himself with it. Because this mockery gave the green light to the creation of Seapunk-style subcultures through digital products like Vaporwave. The number, type, target, or message of the subcultures emerging from this initial reaction has multiplied and spread rapidly to all areas of internet products.

Vaporwave Philosophy & Aesthetics

What happens when a source nurtured by the considerable aesthetics of past eras dances with today’s possibilities and perspectives? Any sentence answering this question can be included in the definition of Vaporwave aesthetics and philosophy. Vaporwave reflects the taste of the old as a new genre and the taste of the new with old products.

Especially images from the 80s and 90s, game concepts, TV series characters, chirpy colors, the explosion of interest in Greek sculpture, and many other products have become part of digital media production today. Starting as a music genre, Vaporwave has benefited from this perspective in countless production areas.


As the architect of the Seapunk subculture, this movement has of course influenced many fields of production, but the most striking products have come to life in digital visuals and music. Due to its philosophical mission and target vision, you can see the message of alienation from society and the face of capitalism corrupting humanity in almost all Vaporwave products.

Everything we will say from now on will be about the evolution of the Vaporwave concept. Because initially emerged as a music movement, but later grew like an avalanche in various artistic mediums, Vaporwave also changed the philosophical views it held over time. In the early days, strong anti-capitalism was the main element of this movement. However, over time, the concept of accelerationism fell right in the middle of Vaporwave production habits!

Accelerationism in general is the continuous exploitation of a concept or cycle, rather than resisting its exhaustion or striving for its destruction. In other words, rather than “booing” or antagonizing capitalism, those willing to go on a consumption spree to bring it to an end. 

As Vaporwave plans to overcome its opposition to the concept of capitalism with a vision of accelerationism, do you think the desired results have been achieved? Everyone has a different answer to this question.

Vaporwave Movement in Visual Arts

Vaporwave has become one of the most functional trends, especially for graphic designers, and has fueled the emergence of various concepts. Didn’t this movement have a counterpart for the fields where visual arts are not only about graphic productions? Of course, it has happened, but NFT in particular, where original content is influenced by such trends, is the most sought-after category in the digital community.


Productions where vintage designs are flying in the air but even futuristic technologies are tested on these products mean a lot to enthusiasts. Every product reflecting the Vaporwave culture, especially in the visual art category, has both buyers and producers.

Vaporwave will continue to exist as long as the high demand continues, and it would be prophetic to predict Vaporwave, though we still have one. Like many others, many of us are convinced that this trend, carrying a futuristic brain underneath its nostalgic beret, will bring out countless Seapunk-like subcultures in the visual arts.

Vaporwave Movement in Music

As one of the fastest-transmitted concepts of recent years, Vaporwave has gone beyond spreading only among amateur musicians. Because it has become important to reflect this concept for the world-famous artist making music in many genres from R&B to Hip-Hop. From Kanye West to Justin Bieber, many musicians with millions of fans are now producing in the spirit of Vaporwave!


The development and change of cultures are not limited to people’s physical lives. As you can see, the digital world has its cultural activities and evolution. As an active user, it is very important to be aware of these trends and cultures to use new generation technologies effectively. We are determined to explain all the changes in detail to ensure you can do this in the most qualified way! So, our Vaporwave article is just the beginning, there’s more on the way for you!

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