InternetURL IRL: Photos from an internet flea market
Hopes&Fears went to Internet Yami-ichi’s inaugural Queens event with a photographer to document what happens when internet people spend the day offline.
Internet Yami-Ichi, an IRL flea market and art fair for the URL-inclined, held its first New York edition at Knockdown Center in Queens on Saturday. Originally launched in 2012 at Tokyo Denki University in Japan, Internet Yami-Ichi was created by the infamous Japanese web group IDPW, an online secret society, to hit "refresh" on our collective digital media experience. "Yami-Ichi" literally means black market, although the word "yami" also has connotations of sickness and addiction, perhaps a reference to the excessive amount of time many of us spend online.
Hopes&Fears went to Internet Yami-ichi's inaugural Queens event with a photographer to document what happens when internet people spend the day offline.
The Knockdown Center, in Queens, was once a door frame factory and now hosts experimental cultural events.
Otis Denner-Kenny of Babycastles, Manhattan:
“Today, Babycastles brought WobMD to Internet Yami-Ichi. WobMD is a whole pharmacy and medical industrial complex. We can diagnose you and offer a free consultation with our doctor, then you have the option to fill the prescription for your diagnosis at our onsite pharmacy. Our medicine consists of bursting bubbles of flavored juices and other unidentified mystery substances.”
Twinhead and cat holtz, Boston & Portland:
“We have a variety of memes in a variety of media dating from 2000 to 2033. We also have USB collections if you want more meme for your buck. We wanted very badly to bring the experience of encountering memes online into the real world.”
Weather Man, Boston:
“I’ve done the weather reporting for all of Boston for the past three years. I’m the most trusted weather source in Boston, because who can trust these random weather corporations? Like, you have the Weather Channel naming storms dumb names. I’ve come down to NYC because what I want to do let NYC people know that weather is happening here too, that they too can have personal relationships with their Weather Lords and repent.”
Taeyoon Choi, New York, Seoul:
“What we have here is actual Spam mail. You can mail physical Spam to your friends or to whoever. Spam is interesting because it’s this thing that, wherever the U.S. occupies, it has become something of a local cuisine – whether Hawaii, Japan, Korea, or the internet.”
Cara Francis, Brooklyn:
“Remote is my interactive drone program that leads you through a guided meditation and absurdist yoga session. You perform over a green screen and I manipulate the footage after I record it, then I send it to you.”
Guilherme Pena Costa, Brazil:
“I always wanted to make music using Google Translate, but I don’t like being stuck on the computer. That’s why I created Gagoo, an instrument that plays Google Translate words and phrases as an artificial vocalist. There’s a bit of research that goes into the words I choose. I try to find words that have some musicality to them.”
David Huerta & Jonathan Dahan, Brooklyn:
“This is Tails Surveillance Sanitizer. While browsers like Tor let you use the internet anonymously, Tails takes it a step further. Instead of just being a browser, Tails is an entire operating system that leaves as little trace as possible both on your computer and online. Tails Surveillance Sanitizer includes our whole operating system on a USB drive that comes in a super durable, TSA friendly hand sanitizer. It’s a great discrete way to use the Internet and sanitize the evidence.”
A pyrite USB drive by Nullsleep.
Internet Yami-ichi attendees (left), Internet Dude, Japan (right).
Michelle Ceja of Anime Research Group, Brooklyn:
“I created Anime Research Group with my friends to expose people in America to anime, manga, and otaku culture. We also explore how people’s relationships with anime, and anime characters, affects their relationships with actual people. We’re in constant flux. At first it was just a meeting among friends to watch anime together, last year we were screening anime that are hard to find in America, and next year we’ll be doing more essay writing and start really emphasizing the research.”
Internet Yami-ichi attendees.