Poppy - Interwebs

Poppy parodies the slightly creepy aspects of digital living on “Interweb”!

The bizarre, abstract, conceptual performance artist Poppy is particularly adept at critiquing the cognitive dissonance of our highly interconnected world. Looking at people’s Instagrams and Tumblrs, you’d think we’d transcended all of society’s problems, living like The Eloi in H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, sipping ambrosia and daydreaming our next non-profit.



The reality, that most of us don’t like to look at, is that we’re actually more like The Morlocks, keeping the cogs of capitalism turning, making occasional raids on The 1% for sustenance and supplies. Likewise, the Internet promises that we’ll never be alone, that we’ll always be together. More like “along together,” as author Sherry Turkle puts it. Or Fall Out Boy, take your pick. “When you’re down and you’re alone/I’ll be watching you,” sings Poppy, in her trademarked helium chirpy purr.

“Interweb” is pure ‘90s club EDM, bare basic house beats and a bog standard ducking disco bassline, straight out of Chapter 1 from a Reason Tutorial. Even the visuals seem straight from a mainstream ‘90s electronica video, maybe something from The Orbital, BT, or The Crystal Method, or some such artist from the awkward transitional phase as Big Room club music made its first forays into mass consciousness, before EDM would take over huge festival mainstages.

That’s the thing with Poppy - you cannot separate the music from the message. Typically, I’m not a great fan of satire or sarcasm in music, perhaps being a tad too serious for my own good. Poppy’s emulation of today’s tastes and trends are too spot-on to be ignored, however. Singing with the voice of Soft Power, Poppy is a mockery of Taylor Swift Illuminati conspiracy theories, as well as bleaker, sadder realities - the isolation, depression, and searching common to so many of us.

soundcloudPoppy reminds us that laughter is perhaps the best medicine, (which we’ll likely need as much of as possible, from the way healthcare has been heading in the United States). Poppy’s music and online brand also serve as a useful window into the digital zeitgeist, giving us a taste of tastes and trends. Poppy is as stylish as they come, in a plastic-y vaporwave kind of way. For those who are a little older, or just don’t have enough time to spend online, who've been wondering about Pastel Goth, Soft Grunge, ASMR, or other hashtags that don’t make sense to Digital Tourists.

For those of us in the know - as we strive to be at We Are: The Guard - we’re in on the joke. And we’re laughing - and dancing - our asses off!

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.