The first US-based Internet Yami-ichi/Internet Black Market will take over the Knockdown Center artspace in Queens on September 12. The web-inspired flea market allows creators, artists, net nerds and aficionados to interact in real life by selling and bartering internet-related items. Shoppers can find everything from Internet Explorer tattoos, glitch embroidered clothing, Edward Snowden snow globes, or even a small bottle of MacBook-Air air.
Blurring the boundaries between the virtual and physical, this market is a subtle and humorous critic of the online-based behavior and perhaps draws on a nostalgic feeling of early internet culture. Internet Yami-ichi draws on shopping culture from traditional flea markets and the internet. Established in Tokyo in 2012 by IDPW, the New York version is organized by exonemo, Chris Romero and Eri Takane.
“The importance of bringing the Internet Yami-ichi to New York is to bridge diverse communities, whether it is hackers, coders, otakus, or farmers and grandmas. We want to show a New York-style of the Internet Yami-ichi,” Romero tells the Creators Project. "The Yami-ichi is traveling to many places like São Paulo, Linz, and Taiwan, and there are many people in New York that also deserve to take part in it.”
The market is free and open to all, but there are two conditions: sell things related to the internet and offer products that don't harm humanity. With more than 100 vendors, this edition promises to be the biggest so far.
“We're reaching out to all sorts of people, I am even going to ask my dad to participate. Many people are coming from Japan, like IDPW members Shingo Ohno and Shunya Hagiwara, to show their support for the internet Yami-ichi,” he adds. “I think people will be surprised when they attend. There is no telling what you'll find at the market.”
Learn more about the Internet Black Market here.