OK with uncool
Javier Lourenco is the Buenos Aires-based creative director of visual studio Flamboyant Paradise and founder of TheUncoolHunter, a website throwing a cheeky middle finger to the trendoids of the world by insisting on filling in the often-ignored aspects of popular culture Wallpaper and Visi decide to give a miss.
Lourenco, who co-directed the short film The Blindness in the Woods (think fairy tale meets Nordic erotica), is visiting Cape Town as a guest speaker at the Toffie Pop Culture Festival & Design Conference organised by creative agency The President, where he will be discussing filmmaking. The festival runs 24 – 26 March 2011 at the Cape Town City Hall.
Herman: What is uncool at the moment?
Javier Lourenco: Uncool does not have the same meaning as it used to five years ago. It has a new connotation; uncool is not used as a pejorative word as before because we incorporated the uncool as part of our consumption. The elite incorporates uncool stuff to their daily consumption and, because of that, it becomes trendy.
Anyway, for the time being, we are in the presence of two kinds of cultural products and both of them are subjects to be studied:
* The genuine uncool
It is a product that comes from the research of a field that is not known or it is slightly known. It is not referenced in other things. This is everything we have to point out in The Uncoolhunter’s primary study: the kitsch, the bizarre, the freak, the sub-professional, the eccentric, the extravagant, the pretentious, the expensive sold at a lower price, the cheap sold at a higher price, the incoherent, the surreal… This material is what we mainly publish and basically we pay attention to it but, on the other hand, sometimes we publish other kinds of articles that have to do with the Genuine Uncool.
* The non-genuine uncool
This product derives from the research of those professionals who can differentiate between the cool and the uncool (artists, filmmakers, designers, creatives, etc) and who can produce by referring from a genuine uncool product or an aesthetic reference coming from their own world. The final result is an aesthetically uncool product but with a cool meaning.
Herman: Why do we choose to ignore significant parts of our popular culture?
Lourenco: Because the elite think that being massive (after a product becomes main stream) becomes popular and we the trendy tend to ignore that.
Herman: Do you see a cultural trend towards ‘real’ (underground restaurants etc) that leaves our preconceived notions of cool/uncool behind?
Lourenco: Nowadays, [the] limits between cool and uncool are totally blurred. I believe in original things more than cool/uncool. It doesn’t really matter if they come from the supposedly cool (elite) or uncool world (emerging).
Read the full interview on BizCommunity