The vast tundra of the internet can be a lonely place, and sometimes we strive for that real, human contact beyond the Bitmojis, the screen names, and the Tumblr personas. But every once and awhile, in between endless scrolling, the real humans of the web look up, get out and meet IRL to relish in the joys of the web, together. North America’s first-ever Internet Yami-Ichi, a retro style flea market originally from Japan, brings the best of the web all together in one building, letting the real people of the Internet sell Internet-ish things to real people of real life. Vendors from around the world collected this weekend at the Knockdown Center in Queens, showing off everything from emoji merchandise, to augmented reality clothing, to physicalized GIFs, supplying that personal side of the web we’ve all been missing.
And another the fair may be over and the humans back to their pods, you can still follow our favorite vendors from the event on Instagram, as they live on in their original virtual medium, forever.
From casting pre-smart phones in latex, to turning Instagram images of graffiti into canvases, sculptor Takashi Horisaki is all about bringing back the physical world with a much needed sense of nostalgic humor.
Emoji patches and crisp photo zines are just a taste of photographer Armdeep S.’s sharp witted aesthetic. Follow his delightfully minimalist photo feed and shop the merch here to get the best of both worlds.
Net art icon Cory Arcangel’s semi-ironic loungewear line, Arcangel Surfware, reintroduces classic gamer style perfect for surfing the web. Enjoy a flashback to the Comic Sans font, and be sure check out the latest collaboration with indie music trio, Wet.
Artist, poet, coder, and out-of-the-box thinker Taeyoon Choi was serving up spam mail IRL at the fair, encouraging patrons to send their friends real Spam via the USPS. Follow his feed for everything from updates on his artist-run School for Poetic Computation to cute tech inspired comics.
PrintAllOverMe, NewHive, and REIFY
In a collaboration with artists Alexandra Gorczynski, Miles Peyton, and Tara Sinn, the sponsors of the fair put together a collection of clothing called Blastophere printed with digital images that with the use of an app, expand into a moving, augmented reality. PAOM, NewHive, and REIFY are the authorities in the ever growing intersection of art and technology, known for bringing seemingly separate fields together in new, physical and unexpected ways.
Joe Winograd of gifpop
Bring your favorite GIF to life with artist Joe Winograd’s gifpop, a service that turns GIF images into lenticular and holographic postcards.
Researcher, interaction designer and artist Caroline Sinders sold t-shirts printed with Reddit comments from the AMA on rule changes, titled #IveGot99ProblemsAndFiguringOutWhatsChillToPostOnRedditIsAllOfThem. It’s a pretty hilarious way of physicalizing the overly complicated regulations of the Internet, as are many of her other projects that approach art, technology and feminism with a refreshing wittiness.
Taking patterns from glitched out software, Glitchaus turns malfunction into one of a kind wearable knitwear. Stock up for winter!
Using his signature body-morphing style, Rollin Leonard gave people of the fair the rare opportunity to create personal mugs of their personal mugs. Follow his feed for the latest psychedelic portraits, body-turned-objects, and digital contortionist projects to really melt your face off.
Does it make calls? No. Does it connect to the Internet? No. Does it take Selfies? Kind of (if you count just looking at yourself in a mirror as a selfie). Does it help you connect IRL? Yes! The NoPhone is the anti-phone that does nothing except look like a phone, perfect for those times we’d like to get away from technology and really connect in person. You can follow them on Instagram, but of course, they won’t be posting.