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  • Writer's pictureTruman Phinney


DREAM TEKK FANTASIES is a Post-Vaporwave self portrait gallery installation I created in early 2022. The idea began in February when I found myself becoming more and more infatuated with the idea that we are living in a cyberpunk world right now yet we barely acknowledge it. Within this realm of corporations, digital euphoria, and complete immersion into the internet, one may question, "Where do I fit into this?".

My journey into this topic began with me putting together my mood board and beginning to wonder how I could I translate this idea into the visual world. I went through a long list of my favorite archived images and placed them together. The clash of celebrities, broken technology, digital landscapes, cold corporate architecture, and dreamy moments all came together to better describe this strange digital feeling I was yearning for.

This idea of digital euphoria very much intrigued me as it contains so much depth and data but can very possibly remain hollow as a human experience. The reliance we have on technology for entertainment, communication, and spirituality really seemed relevant to my project as they perfectly incapsulate the fake dreams and hopes that these companies often try to sell us in the modern age.

Upon getting a clearer understanding of my idea I started to flirt with ideas of video synthesizing through old TV's to better communicate my idea and show these broken corporate dreams. This TV would be paired with a triptych photo collage. After weeks of rigorous editing and planning my piece was slowly starting to come together.

After acquiring a TV I began experimenting with my video synth handcrafted by I needed to find a way to get video onto the TV so I went too my parents house to look for old recording equipment. What originally began as exploration into a cyberpunk world was slowly starting to become more and more nostalgic as I collected various pieces of video hardware that I would always use as a kid. With my moms old Sony Handycam I was now prepared to record the video that was needed for my concept.

I made the drive over to the Denver Tech Center and began wondering around with handycam looking like a very confused and lost tourist. Throughout this walk I immersed myself in dreamy vaporwave tracks from the likes of 猫 シ Corp, Death's Dynamic Shroud, and AURAGRAPH to further cement myself into this world I was creating. The soaring towers cradled by curvy roads, bridges, and trains started to begin to feel like a labyrinth as I got more and more last in this business district. It was an almost uncanny feeling walking around such massive structures with not a person in sight. Everybody was inside working, consumed in their crafts. This made the area feel like a ghost town leading to a lingering sense of existential dread. These moments really resonated with the contemporary ideas about our lives being a simulation. With that being said I left the tech center that day with an abundance of video and a much deeper understanding of my conceptualization.

The following weeks consisted of meticulous editing of video, photo, and audio files as the installation date creeped closer. To bring together the piece I asked Tech Honors from Death's Dynamic Shroud if I could use one of their tracks for the piece. After they agreed I knew the perfect track to express chaotic dreamy ambience I was going for. I used the song Nothing Like This World off of the album Live From Japan and turned it into a 20 minute seamless loop to accompany my video. The scattered yet euphoric vocals paired with the flickering lights of the CRTV perfectly exuded the feeling I was going for and with that, I was on to the finishing touches.

After getting everything together it was finally time to install the piece. I used stainless steel frames with the middle one backed with a LED strip. Draped from the frames were dozens of wires from my old box of childhood electronics. My first computer mouse, my old SNES controller, and my old speaker wires were washing a niche feeling of digital nostalgia over me as I begun installing them onto the frames. My friend Kat Lloyd helped me with attaching the wires and distressing a few of them as well.

After hours, what felt like an impossible task was finally finished and the pieces were ready to be mounted. I plugged in the TV and set it up adjacent to the the triptych and there it was, my finished project. What had been my longest piece in the making was finally finished. As it stood on the wall I was overwhelmed with a sense of disbelief that I actual did it, after so much mental discourse about this concept it was nothing short of insane to see it finally existing as a living and breathing piece.

As I finish writing this blog post I prepare to go uninstall this piece from the gallery later today. While it is sad that my creations time in the spotlight is coming to a close there is something beautiful about the liminal nature that this piece had, like a dream just out of grasp.

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