AI Lofi

AI Lofi

Many years ago, my podcast cohost Josef made a Youtube channel called Vaporgen. He had a script running on his server which (if memory serves) pulled a random bit from the middle of a song, stretched it out to 3 minutes and added a distorted picture of something or other as the album art. He did this as a joke, and because it was pretty quick to generate these, the account quickly got shut down because it violated Youtube upload guidelines. It seems like the Vaporgen model has been adopted by a lot of people trying to horn in on the market for lofi compilation videos.

I've talked before about trends in lofi video compliations, how you see more and more of them that are some kind of narrative: what's happening with the lofi girl, what's up with the raccoon and his pals etc. The thing I've noticed more recently is AI-generated images that are just meant to conjure some kind of vibe. The first one I saw, about a year ago, is Cozy Nordic with its hygge-gloomy-rainy aesthetic and it's extremely ai-of-a-year-ago generated art:

I don't know whether the music on this is AI-generated or not, but unlike most channels where they've got music from specific artists noted in the description, this is all attributed to the channel itself.

Another example would be Lofi Everyday which does have attributed tracks and has somewhat more recent, but still a bit wonky art:

They seem to have pivoted recently to being almost entirely art of anime girls:

These channels are everywhere now. I don't really have a point to make here, other than Josef did something like this as a joke a few years ago and now people are doing it not as a joke and that's a bit weird. I don't know how different it is that it used to be gifs from Ghibli films and then it was commissioned art and now a lot of it seems to be AI art, but it feels worse, to me.

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