Digital Folkore

Glittering star screen savers, images of cute kittens and rainbow gradients, we all know and either love or hate them for their kitsch qualities. Some might even say they represent the demise of culture and taste itself and even if you do like them, you probably do so because of their shallow aesthetics.

Moscow born artist Olia Lialina (1971), however, describes them as digital folklore, created by users for users and as the most... important, beautiful and misunderstood language of new media. Digital Folklore encompasses the customs, traditions and elements of visual, textual and audio culture that emerged from users' engagement with personal computer applications during the last decade of the 20th and the first decade of the 21st century. So it doesn't matter who invented the computer, the mouse or the world wide web, what matters is that people started using them to express themselves. Only then did these technical innovations become relevant to culture at large.