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CORE CORE: Is It Art or Just Another Trend?

A new anti-media art movement is, ironically, storming the media, and maybe it could make some fundamental impact.

-Core (add whatever you wish to before the dash) is used to name categories of topics or aesthetics. Some popular cores that may sound familiar are cottagecore, kidcore, or fairycore — each of which are an umbrella term for the feeling, knowledge, and aesthetics of the topic used as a prefix. However, a recent use of “core core” as surfaced.

Core core is centered around humanity in its irony and self awareness of the 21st century. Unlike its counterparts however, it isn’t made for the sole enjoyment of the viewer, but rather to evoke stronger, somewhat negative, emotions and encourage positive change. The videos tend to be made in a collage like fashion, taking pieces from other recordings, and are primarily on TikTok feeds. A core core edit typically starts with any other video, but slowly compiles others of similar feel, then adding music and sometimes multiple videos at once. This can be purposely overstimulating. These clips can be from trends, ads, news headlines, YouTube videos, etc. And though not always explicitly stated, the edits usually they have their own nuanced topic. I’ve seen core core edits tackle body image, sexism, the entertainment industry, oligarchy and just about anything that can feel bigger than oneself. Overall, the issues covered also seem to have a common theme of political/ social issues portrayed through media and the dissatisfaction they bring.

The genre could be seen as exactly that: a genre. Or it could be seen as a movement. The edits serve somewhat as self produced PSA’s about online consumption, calling out the every man for falling into a doom cycle of scrolling, buying, seeking momentary pleasure, ultimately leaving unsatisfied and seeking repair in the next start up of the cycle. But core core also exposes the very bold reality that the trajectory of a life is within the decision self by the one living. Through dramatic sensory buildup, an option is presented to reject the comfortable self constructed modern cage. And though they aren’t intended to be bright and cheery, many viewers find inspiration after. To turn the phone off. To break the cycle.

core core themed collage


The category is also set apart because its stunning impact is manufactured not by a company or team with a specific bias, but rather by individuals that gain no profit and are expressing their take on the world they live in.

There are at the same time concerns to core core. Because of its interpersonality, it had massive reach and resonance throughout users on sites such as TikTok. With this reach comes traction, and eventually replication into a trend. While replication draws a movement, losing the meaning in its popularity would turn it into the very thing the original edits were warning people of. A user on TikTok by the name of littlefreak26, spoke on the issue stating that many of the original videos had political messages embedded in them and spurred people to get involved with causes they cared about. Now many of the produced core core montages focus on the dreary issue, but have lost their solution, which can be dangerous for someone’s outlook on life.

But once again, the power of action lies within each person, and can be carried beyond the media platform. While media and art can be useful to convey urgency, what we do with that string response is our choice. Wether it be to join a rally or take a hiatus from social media, change and inspiration can be found in any situation and can lead anywhere we choose to pursue.

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