cursed images: let's get together and pin down the aesthetic!

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i: a lot of photo by flash (but not all)
ii: much reflective gleam of animalian cornea (but not all)
iii: it is often quite lynchian (but not always)
iv: it overlaps with creepypasta but is much broader (and imo more subtly imaginative)
v: double ditto "lurking clown" photos, which would obviously belong but actually don't often feature
vi: triple ditto blobismus!
vii: the shadowland liminality (liminalism?) of various psycho-affective border-territories: man-beast, "non-sentient" objects with vivid character, would you eat this, creepy visual puns via juxtaposition, sinister twee peril, suburban darkness, awareness/lack of awareness, daft rando performativity that scares the fkn bejesus out of you (cf coulrophobia and v)

this (and are the only things that comfort me any more: i am happy to accept this is a decadent pathology and an indication of despair

over to you

proposed name for the aesthetic:

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 10:03 (four years ago) link

oh yes, the curator ask that images be sent him/her/them/whatever, and selects from that according to i guess "cursedness" -- one stipulation is NO SHOPS

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 10:07 (four years ago) link

vii encompasses uncanny valley also obv

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 10:49 (four years ago) link

vii is key. a lot of mundane scenes made jarring by having some sort of jarring animalistic/death-drive presence. there's a lot of meat

ogmor, Thursday, 9 March 2017 11:05 (four years ago) link

jarring? jarring

ogmor, Thursday, 9 March 2017 11:05 (four years ago) link

yes i'm not sure if jarring is quite the right word, seems to suggest too abrupt a realisation, too step-change: what's unsettling is that this realisation (that you stepped across a border into a world you really don't want to be in) is simultaneously gradual AND quick, beginning slight ending up intense -- this was ordinary and funny and NOW THERE'S NO WAY BACK

(and partly it''s unsettling partly bcz "gradual AND quick" isn't a real-world category?)

there *is* a lot of meat (shd dig out adorno's stuff on animals and meat, feel it's surprisingly pertinent, esp. as you wouldn't tag TWA as a connoisseur of this kind of stuff)

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 11:17 (four years ago) link

also, bananas

attention vampire (MatthewK), Thursday, 9 March 2017 11:45 (four years ago) link

the mapping of the immanent liminality of the banana is an epistemic breakthrough all on its own

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 12:12 (four years ago) link

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 23:03 (four years ago) link

(not actually what i was looking for, but i can't resist the expressions)

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 23:04 (four years ago) link


Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 9 March 2017 23:08 (four years ago) link

it's a cursed image world we just etc

this is closer to what i was after: people in a CI picture where you absolutely can't tell (bcz artful? bcz we are just intruders in their realm?) if this is a performance or verité

(the kid's performing but what about the woman pushing the trolley…)

mark s, Thursday, 9 March 2017 23:21 (four years ago) link

I get Diane Arbus like vibes from some of them.

MaresNest, Friday, 10 March 2017 00:05 (four years ago) link

^ Actually dreamed this in a nightmare about four years ago

Never changed username before (cardamon), Friday, 10 March 2017 00:32 (four years ago) link

Loved the truck with the "flames" paint job, on fire.

Sanpaku, Friday, 10 March 2017 00:52 (four years ago) link

feel this is outside the standard guidelines:

mark s, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 11:25 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...

a crucified easter bunny made of toast, outside tooting station (stolen from @andrewbloch)

not officially cursed: i can't decide if it fits the aesthetic (perhaps too well made)

mark s, Friday, 14 April 2017 20:21 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

mark s, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:08 (four years ago) link

it plays "Let It Go" when you open the lid

more polls about food and reactionary art (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:09 (four years ago) link

Mark, you need to follow the Facebook group called Theories of the deep understanding of things.

Jack-et potato? (jed_), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:13 (four years ago) link

^is that it? that's it

Heavy Doors (jed_), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:35 (four years ago) link

so not gonna happen

mark s, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 22:40 (four years ago) link


gin and chronic (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 6 July 2017 10:58 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

mark s, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 15:39 (four years ago) link

i liked this one

ogmor, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 15:42 (four years ago) link

Imagine: you've called round on some errand and the entire family is dressed like this. No explanation offered.

It's the perfect contrast of the mundane and the inexplicable, the ordinary suburban backdrop combined with whatever the hell it is these people are doing.

Another weird detail I've just noticed is "Lisa" isn't holding a saxophone but a large pipe(?)

Pheeel, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:06 (four years ago) link


mark s, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:08 (four years ago) link

man every single one of those "real life Simpsons" photos/mock-ups creeps the hell out of me

frogbs, Tuesday, 8 August 2017 16:11 (four years ago) link

lol @ all the comments that just say "Russia"

brimstead, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 02:08 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

mark s, Friday, 1 September 2017 22:23 (four years ago) link

mark s, Saturday, 9 September 2017 18:47 (four years ago) link

the gigeresque uh 'aperture' on the tree really adds to the effect

Wesley Shackleton explained "look at that beast." (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 9 September 2017 19:07 (four years ago) link

feel like the twitter acct deviates from the aesthetic a lot now for just Funny Images though the ones reposted here are mostly on point

ciderpress, Saturday, 9 September 2017 19:09 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

soref, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:37 (three years ago) link

mark s, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 20:29 (three years ago) link

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 21:04 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...
three weeks pass...


— rahel aima (@cnqmdi) December 15, 2017

or click through:

mark s, Friday, 15 December 2017 15:07 (three years ago) link

I'm upset to find out at the bottom of that page that is not real ;_;

(well, the photos are real, but it's by some dude)

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 15 December 2017 15:25 (three years ago) link


Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Friday, 15 December 2017 16:43 (three years ago) link

long fingers

frogbs, Friday, 15 December 2017 16:44 (three years ago) link

Only just realised the teletubbies pic is in a hospital ward, not some kid's bedroom. I guess that kind-of explains it? Maybe?

Pheeel, Friday, 15 December 2017 21:18 (three years ago) link

i think this is the exact aesthetic opposite of clay's recent terrance mallick-inspired series on instagram (which is the best)

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 May 2021 22:01 (three months ago) link

horseshoe theory applies imo

(thank you Karl <3)

Clay, Sunday, 23 May 2021 22:02 (three months ago) link

it is going to be a little more difficult to get treeship to take my art seriously later, but i think in a way i wanted this challenge

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 May 2021 22:04 (three months ago) link

i appreicate
other art
of yours

treeship., Sunday, 23 May 2021 22:11 (three months ago) link

:) i'm just joshing you treesh, i know it's gross <3

ok old lunch, sorry for that brief foray into sexual intercourse with those eyeball. BUT, i would also like to go that cursed rabbit head place soon!

Karl Malone, Sunday, 23 May 2021 22:14 (three months ago) link

that gif has placed an unshakeable earworm of the who's squezebox into my head, damn you Karl Malone

burnt hombre (stevie), Monday, 24 May 2021 07:57 (three months ago) link

Tracer Hand, Monday, 24 May 2021 09:08 (three months ago) link

What am I missing about Roland's Hardwood Floors van? Is it the errant apostrophe that's cursed? Those are common enough.

I have a CD featuring the same painting: Gustave Caillebotte, Les Raboteurs de Parquet, 1875 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Thursday, 3 June 2021 06:18 (three months ago) link

The giant bear thing looks like something from a Jim Woodring comic crossed over into our reality

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Thursday, 3 June 2021 10:27 (three months ago) link

the painting of the dog and the girl in the corner in the first pic...

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 5 June 2021 21:12 (three months ago) link

^^^^ yeah

brimstead, Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:53 (three months ago) link

I think that's one of those well-known prints lots of people had in their houses at one time - "A Special Pleader".

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Sunday, 6 June 2021 09:22 (three months ago) link

Well, that didn't work but here it is:

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Sunday, 6 June 2021 09:25 (three months ago) link

the image loads for me. it looks less sinister in normal lighting.

brimstead, Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:41 (three months ago) link

The pig is all of us.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

My favorite genre of cursed image is just “person existing weird in room”

— Michael Pielocik (@michaelpielocik) June 10, 2021

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 10 June 2021 13:26 (three months ago) link


cat, Saturday, 12 June 2021 09:05 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 6 July 2021 09:42 (two months ago) link

Damn, the embeds didn't work. Just follow the link, they're all worth contemplating anyway.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 July 2021 09:24 (two months ago) link


Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Wednesday, 14 July 2021 12:24 (two months ago) link

i believe this is what the photoshop "content-aware" fill feature is for

let's check out those alien boobs as they really exist:

Z_TBD (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 20 July 2021 19:02 (one month ago) link

the choker is a nice touch

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 20 July 2021 19:03 (one month ago) link

ET2: i can't wear glasses, but i do wear contacts.
ET1: :-o

Z_TBD (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 20 July 2021 19:03 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

nickn, Thursday, 19 August 2021 23:35 (four weeks ago) link

i know it's commonplace but i will always find this kind of photo to be Cursed.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 24 August 2021 16:42 (three weeks ago) link

Five Nights and Six Days

pplains, Thursday, 2 September 2021 23:26 (two weeks ago) link

adam t. (abanana), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:59 (one week ago) link

That shark looks suspiciously happy to see all that wreckage IMO

"the fancy things" being his nads, etc (stevie), Thursday, 9 September 2021 07:33 (one week ago) link

omb campbell soup boy

the perfect wedding anniversary present!

"HYYOOOOOOONK!" is the sound I make (Karl Malone), Monday, 13 September 2021 08:23 (five days ago) link

you don't want to see my laptop keyboard

"HYYOOOOOOONK!" is the sound I make (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 14 September 2021 18:30 (four days ago) link

Marty J. Bilge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 14 September 2021 18:51 (four days ago) link

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