A lot of people say “vibes.”
They mean: This moment in time has a heightened aesthetic & I recognize this.
Despite its popularity, we generally underestimate the value of vibes.
The best works of art provide “vibes.”
The most interesting places in the world are “vibes.”
Your favorite people exude good “vibes.”
There is an energy which surrounds & envelopes us. It is a mysterious force understood by nobody yet recognized by everybody. This is the center from which “vibes” emanate.
Before we move on —
What ARE vibes?
I’m not sure. One definition, according to Urban Dictionary, seems to get it: “A distinctive emotional atmosphere; sensed intuitively.” The Cambridge Dictionary also has an interesting definition, “the feeling you get from being in a particular place or situation or from being with a particular person.”
My own definition falls somewhere in the ballpark of this: Vibes are the capturing (& experiencing) of a highly distinct, yet rarely felt, psycho-emotional aesthetic.
Vibes aren’t just good vibrations.
People shrug & say, “It’s a vibe” when weird shit is going down.
Even horrific things are labeled “vibes” — sometimes jokingly, sometimes not.
The common quality among the various vibes are not so much substantive but rather the intensity of their expression(s).
As a filmmaker, this principle of “vibe” theory (lol) — not that that’s a thing, but y’know what I mean: we are recognizing that modern society, especially the vanguard members of culture, have the word “vibe” on the tongue…
I believe this is because people desire & lack pleasurable states of being.
But anyway… As a filmmaker, this principle of “vibe theory” has practical effect.
It’s okay for cinema to simply offer “vibes” for the audience… So long as that “vibe” is heightened. Music videos don’t need to have deep stories. Just vibes.
A film can be successful if you cast a few semi-recognizable actors and offer a uniquely distinctive vibe to live in for about 2 hours.
“Yeah but this movie doesn’t mean anything.” Okay, that’s fine! Does it offer vibes? And I mean some serious fuckin’ vibes?? Some sticks-in-your-brain-for-days kinda vibes?
Then it’s fine! Vibes are enough… if they’re novel & distinct enough.
The vibes should be so distinct as to alter the personal fashion of the viewer.
We also are used to an aesthetic language involving a variety of non-linear extremes.
This is, after all, the structure of the Internet.
Our brains are currently (& have been) successfully re-wired to reflect our newfound integration with the Internet. We expect the world now to be a GUI. We don’t want linearity & total coherence. We crave the frictionless experiencing of many things simultaneously.
So, one of the expressions that our brains is more Internet-like is our propensity for remix culture. “Vibes” fits neatly into our post-modern landscape.
In our incoherent world — and in the total lack of any foreseeable change of direction in the near future — we have abandoned all hope for meaning and have rushed toward meaninglessness. “Vibes” does not offer meaning.
The function of “vibes” is to elicit provocative (yet pleasurable) states of being.