Instalgia Grain

"Issue": 068

*record scratch*

It’s June 2020. Protest are in full bloom. You open TikTok to a flood of videos of teenagers telling their future grandchildren stories of what they did during the protest x the panini. Creating an instant history of their present actions.

From our sonic environments to our digital (not even sure we need to delineate that anymore) cultural production, we find ourselves in what I call “Instalgia”. An instant creation of nostalgia in present moments.

Dispo makes us nostalgic for yesterday’s moment, forcing me to pause through a familiar analogue interaction. To wake up to the un-rolling of previousness.

An entire wave of music has a grain to it that feels photographic of something I already knew…

You told me it wasn't over and that we'd be together soon
But was this before or after you told me to leave the room?
I used to think we'd make it far, it turned out that we are
It's such a shame that we weren't the same at all

Pain by PinkPantheress

I’m not going to get into my views on nostalgic design / sensations / desire. I just want to point out the very clear cultural pieces that are bringing this to the forefront.

I obviously appreciate and integrate nostalgia to an extent throughout my life. I find deep daily pleasure in nostalgic swaddling. Frank Ocean is incredibly nostalgic. It’s all about past loves and pain and sky. Mid century furniture in vaulted space, every design boi’s dream, is nostalgic.

And it taps into something I’m trying to explore after saying it out loud at dinner: maintaining/curating psycho-space.

It seeps into all routine. All consumption. The malleability that is existing in these bodies… I remember responding to Blake about Instagram’s nostalgic effect here:

Lately I haven’t been in a “yes I will explain this whole thing to you” mood. Either you grok it and feel it too or you don’t.

Listen to the July Playlist. Scroll back in your brain to those TikTok videos from last year. Check out my homies Junior Varsity video below. Think about what an algorithm is built around… the surfacing of the past for present pleasure.

When culture is exploding in every direction and resurface-able more than any other period in time at scale. It’s producing some truly interesting ~reality based communities~.

I think my point in thinking about this, is because I’ve been in a very different consumption / creation space.

I’ve been thinking about how ahead of everything Yeezus was, and how it was legitimately “few” to appreciate what was done through that album. I’ve been thinking about Roden Crater. I’ve been thinking about drawing out every line of the present into tomorrow.

The amount of time it takes to know what everyone will know.

The future of the future is the present.

— Marshall McLuhan

I’m just going to close this newsletter with one of the most important live performances of all time… You can draw a straight line from this performance to Playboi Carti’s WLR virtual show.


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light