Do You Remember the Internet?
Instar Books wants you to help them tell everyone about it
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
1:00PM, Wed. Jan. 22, 2020
But, really, who doesn’t remember the Internet?
You know the online world now, of course: Its ubiquity is such that it doesn’t even seem a separate thing, its omnipresence such that the term “IRL” skews a bit off and the once-goofy “meatspace” is the more precise default.
But you also remember the Internet the way it was: The way the already vast and ever-embiggening digital neighborhood of our world used to be, back in the day, when you first encountered it.
You were part of some Yahoo group then, right? Maybe had a GeoCities page set up? Watched Ana Voog’s livecam obsessively and perhaps even participated in her Sleepstation project? Hung out with a lively MySpace or Livejournal crowd? Cavorted in the porntastic fields of pre-crackdown Tumblr? Used to trip the pixellight fantastic in some metropolitan club that Aimee Weber built in Philip Rosedale's Second Life?
Well, the good people – the good and weird people – at Instar Books want to know your stories of those times.
They want to publish a series of short books, around 100 pages each, kind of like those 33 1/3 volumes from Bloomsbury, that “will contain an evolving history of the Internet, a perpetually incomplete chronicle of vanishing websites, technical protocols, social scenes, extended art projects, memes, and lost forums where we confessed our secrets at 2am.”
Now, Instar Books, they’re no fly-by-night deal.
We mean, they may well literally fly by night – like bats do, like witches and vampires do in the weavings of arcane mythologies – because, who knows? But they’re also a solid, stable organization, given to publishing strange and wonderful books and things, and generally causing obscure ripples of sensation within the environs of Brooklyn and far beyond.
And so, when Instar Books – led by authors/editors/publishers Jeanne Thornton and Miracle Jones – announce a project like this, we’re gonna prick up our ears. And we’re gonna click on over to the Kickstarter they’ve engaged to help this glorious contraption fly. And, wandering in a sweet fog of memories of The Way It Used To Be Online, we’re gonna start piecing together our own tales of that digitized yesterday – and hoping to see some of your personal memories in there, too: Among the many pocketsized pages of Remember the Internet.