Proenza Schouler Hops On the 'Web Art' Bandwagon With New Video

Yesterday, there was a little bit of an internet shitstorm over two musicians' appropriation of a web art aesthetic that's currently popular on Tumblr. Now, thanks to Proenza Schouler, three's a trend. Now watch us try to figure out what this trend is and who did it first.
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Dhani Mau
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Yesterday, there was a little bit of an internet shitstorm over two musicians' appropriation of a web art aesthetic that's currently popular on Tumblr. Now, thanks to Proenza Schouler, three's a trend. Now watch us try to figure out what this trend is and who did it first.
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Yesterday, there was a little bit of an internet shitstorm over two musicians' appropriation of a web art aesthetic that's currently popular on Tumblr. Now, thanks to Proenza Schouler, three's a trend.

First, Rihanna performed "Diamonds" on Saturday Night Live against a greenscreen-aided backdrop of bright, moving Lisa Frank-esque 3-D graphics. The next day, Azealia Banks' video for "Atlantis" dropped on the internet. It featured very similar imagery.

Today Proenza Schouler whose spring 2013 collection was inspired by the internet sent out a video called "Desert Tide," which is also an installation at the label's new Madison Ave store. It features Second Life avatars wearing looks from the fall 2012 collection against a very web art-y backdrop of waterfalls and random leaping dolphins. Watch below:

The visuals, in all instances, seemed inspired by web artists such as Jerome LOL, as Buzzfeed pointed out yesterday. Tweeters, including LOL noticed the similarities in both Rihanna's and Banks's performances. Some examples:

The Synchronicity of Rihanna's Performance on SNL and Azealia's New Video lol --Jerome LOL (@JeromeLOL) November 12, 2012

Congrats @jeromelol on getting straight up ripped off by whomever was doing visuals for Rhianna on SNL last night. --Gregory H Bowler (@gregoryhbowler) November 11, 2012

People are also mad about Azealia Banks' appropriation of "Seapunk." This lead Bebe Zeva, a 19-year-old, um, fashion blogger, to go on a Twitter rant about appropriation and capitalism and Swagger Jacking that involved everyone from LOL himself to Richard Lawson.

If you haven't seen, here's Rihanna's SNL performance:

And Azealia Banks' "Atlantis" video:

Come to think of it, these also remind us of Prada's latest "Real Fantasies" video:

Whether they "ripped off" other artists and whether that even matters is up for debate and depends on what one's own definition of art is. I think V's Natasha Stagg put it nicely:

In the wake of the Rihanna-Azaelia-green screen drama, some artists are finally nailing down what actually matters when it comes to discussing so-called "internet art:" it is mass produced for, about, and because of pop appropriation, and it highlights a transcendence of genre only made possible by the web's quickly fluxuating and all-accessible community. That's why it's so relevant to fashion designers like futurey, yet wearable, Proenza Schouler.

What's your opinion?