That Mathers Aesthetic!

The great Maren Deepwell (who Reclaim Hosting has been lucky enough to work with after her long stint as ALTs brilliant CEO) has created a visual anthology celebrating 10 years of Reclaim’s art. It’s a very cool video, and I highly recommend you partake in the celebration 🙂

I’m really proud of the brand we’ve been able to forge over the last decade. Trying to make a relatively boring product like web hosting compelling has been one of the funnest elements of the job. What’s more, getting to partner with the entire Reclaim team and the likes of Bryan Mathers to do it has been the real gold.

Gold Record plan for the newly launched Reclaim.Press

Bryan will quickly deflect any praise or compliment right back at you taking little to no credit for how much his own visual storytelling shapes our identity by capturing a raucous sense of cultural play without sacrificing a deep, company-wide commitment to an open and independent web.

Bryan Mathers early vision for the indie edtech record store with snide proprietor and all 🙂

There’s a fine line to walk between tongue and cheek references and an underlying commitment to what can be referred to as indie edtech or trailing edge technology. A belief that the new and shiny can often obfuscate the long history of edtech, but also erase any sense of its embedded cultural history that impacts ours daily lives.

The iconic, industrial visual label of Reclaim Cloud

The link between edtech and vinyl or edtech and an independent record store is not only playful, but also an argument for the production of online culture and the value of an independent space to do it. Reclaim understands itself outside the homogenizing box-store mentality of massive social media sites and hosting services, much like independent record labels such as Dischord that are anathema to the mainstream business of music. It’s about community, it’s about focus, and it’s about controlled, responsible growth. These are so many of the understated, subliminal messages in the Mathers Aesthetic that are directly linked to an ethos of indie edtech.

The ds106 album cover where Giulia Forsythe remixes Raymond Pettibon that in many ways pre-figures Bryan Mathers remixing

I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that Bryan, however inadvertently, has become the Raymond Pettibon of indie edtech, and his aesthetic permeates far beyond the confines of Reclaim Hosting’s “album covers.” If I was being selfish I would refer to all the great work he has created for us over the years as the “Reclaim aesthetic,” but if I were to be honest it’s more appropriate to say “that Mathers aesthetic!”—and we have just been lucky enough to be early to the party. Go ahead, try and create your online identity with an AI prompt, we’ll be over here working with the artists.

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6 Responses to That Mathers Aesthetic!

  1. I love seeing all the Bryan art gathered together – one day we’ll open a Mathers gallery

  2. Kim Lame says:

    You me at AI prompt.

  3. Pingback: “Raise expectations to a new intention” |

  4. Grant says:

    Pettibon – hell yes he is! Your post had me digging around Pettibon online and I found this Cartoonist Kayfaybe episode from 2 years ago I somehow missed .. great look at his aesthetic

    • Reverend says:

      That is an awesome video, interesting to see his zines. I also love the comparison with early Superman comics. I know Bryan has been working on a series of zines (and has inspired us to follow that path) to struggle through the bigger questions around Ireland’s history. Also, after watching that video, I am glad that the comparison stops at the fascination with masturbation and erect members 🙂 Pettibon was definitely NSFW 🙂

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