A woman in red in a busy cyberpunk street. AI-generated.

When Technostalgia Spurs Creativity: Back to MidJourney 3

Exploring Technostalgia

Some cultural theorists have delved into the concept of "technostalgia," a type of nostalgia specifically associated with technology and its various iterations over time. This concept encapsulates the bittersweet feelings of longing for outdated technologies or previous versions of software, even if they were less efficient or polished, due to the emotional or aesthetic connections we've developed with them. I, too, have recently been caught in the grips of technostalgia, pining for the "bygone days" of MidJourney's Version 3.0 (just a year ago, believe it or not πŸ˜€ ).


Embracing Imperfection through Art

I have a particular fondness for the pixelated and occasionally incoherent outputs of V3. They possessed a uniquely glitchy and imperfect essence that gave them a truly special charm. And so, I created an entire music video using only V3. 🀀 After generating thousands of prompts, I selected around a hundred images, merged, layered, and animated them in FCPX to weave a coherent and captivating narrative. Admittedly, I bent the rules slightly by incorporating a few prompts from V4: the story unfolds across two layers of reality: a virtual world conjured by V3, where our protagonist's consciousness is ensnared, and the presumed real world, where our heroine's physical form lays. To delineate the shift between these planes, I employed V4 for the "real world" scenes.


Overcoming Criticism and Sharing the Journey

Some "critics" dismissed the video simply because it was created with AI. However, I'd like to remind them of Karl Marx's assertion that the value of goods is determined by the amount of "socially necessary labor time" required for their production. Although Marx wasn't referring to art in this context, the very considerable labor (in terms of skill, time, and effort) that went into this video leads me to regard it as highly valuable. 😁