A return to the kind of 'original' aesthetic from the early platforms of the 90s has emerged as a trend amongst people thinking about the contemporary implications of 'the digital'. Expanding on and making visually explicit references to globalization and a capitalist 'flattening -out' of culture, online groups like The Jogging play with images that signpost marketing/the artificial in sync with natural imagery (water, grass, the sky etc) as artistic endeavor. It is a complex and slightly mystifying approach to 'art-making' (or at least the visual documentation of exploring culturally relevant ideas about contemporary Western life), but despite its unhelpful mixtures of signs and references, much of the work is very thought-provoking and interesting to look at. The endless scrolling down of page after page of photoshopped, modern hyrbid objects and images seems to imitate the mindless link-following of modern, online exploration. Amidst the endless opportunities to learn and know more, the very reason for exploration can get lost in cyberspace - which in itself typifies a particularly postmodern kind of activity.
Either way, an acknowledgement of 'tumblr aesthetic' as a means of recognising tensions between the natural and the digital is fascinating - even if it occasionally comes across as a kind of 'in-joke' amongst those who feel they have an advanced, cynical cultural insight. It is difficult to explain. But I'd like to keep researching.
The below link will take you to an article and discussion which further explores these ideas (it is a bit confusing):
Thank you to Nicholas for the generous and helpful insights given via email.