28 Mar 2024


00:00 / 00:00

Hannah Diamond reflects on the transformative powers of cute

Cute aesthetics have exploded into pop culture. We use filters to make ourselves look like cute cats, dot our texts with hearts and smiley faces and our phones ping with alerts from cartoon animals reminding us to study French or change energy suppliers. Brands have been using cute images to sell us things since the dawn of advertising but with the rise of social media we are increasingly becoming the brand, as we seek to cutify our online and IRL selves. Over the last ten years the music collective and label PC Music have been playing with the aesthetics of pop music, internet culture and consumerism to suggest that artifice doesn’t need to be inauthentic.

Artist and musician Hannah Diamond is one of the founding members, known for her hyper-real, hyper-pop art direction and an ear for sugary hooks. For CUTE, an exhibition at Somerset House, Hannah was commissioned to curate a room in the style of a girl’s sleepover accompanied by a stream of music videos that embody the power of cute. In this episode we go deeper into the ways pop music and cuteness intersect, celebrating the ways plasticity can be liberating rather than limiting. Hannah talks to fellow label affiliate Hayden Dunham, the brains behind the Hey QT project, about self transformation through world building and Dazed journalist Gunseli Yalcinkaya explains why the internet has such an enduring obsession with cute.


Producer - Alannah Chance
Exec Producer - Eleanor Ritter-Scott
Series presenter - Laurent John

CUTE: An Exhibition Exploring the Irresistible Force of Cuteness in Contemporary Culture, at Somerset House, 25 Jan - 14 Apr 2024.
Principal Partner: Sanrio