The YTK Aesthetic – the falsity of nostalgia

The ‘YTK’ aesthetic gives reference to aesthetics of the early/mid-2000s where a shiny new millennium opened out before us, glittering with the promises of modern technology. This brief moment was characterized and encapsulated through fashion, hardware design, music, and furnishings shiny with tech optimism – sometimes literally. Inhabiting the spirit of the age with shiny clothes Synthetic or metallic-looking materials, inflatable furniture and alien-inspired hairstyles were just a few signposts of the spirit of the age. Even popular music videos of the time had a cluster of common traits: shiny clothes, setpieces that resembled airlocks or computer interfaces.

The ‘Y2K’ element gives reference to– the supposed turn-of-the-century bug that was supposed to bring our infrastructure to a terrifying halt. This supposed bug had failed to materialize and for a brief moment, there was nothing but glittering utopian futurism and faith in a new age of boundless possibility.

Technological developments further dictated aesthetics through the construct of “blobs”, gradients, layered transparencies and lens flares.  “I think curves reigned supreme in Y2K aesthetic as they weren’t so easily done before, so they had the added appeal of being somewhat new. With the very ‘new’ turn of the century came an almost ‘new’ optimism and futuristic aesthetic rained supreme.

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