Internet Archeology Vol 1 - Photography | By Cybergems
A carefully arranged collection of photography found on archived GeoCities websites.
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Lamination: Soft Touch
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ABOUT INTERNET ARCHAEOLOGY
"Memento mori is an artistic or symbolic trope that reminds the viewer of their mortality and the shortness and fragility of human life."
Internet Archaeology is a memento mori for the Internet.
The purpose of this zine series is to preserve and share nearly lost images from the early days of the internet while exploring the answers to questions like-
Why were the people of the early internet into the subjects they were into? Where did the aesthetics of this era originate? How should we treat the artifacts of these lost places?
What is the value of a memory?
THE MAKING OF INTERNET ARCHAEOLOGY
Whenever I'd get bored or lonely, between the years of 2010 to around 2015, I'd go spelunking into the archives of the old net.
I enjoyed the feeling of seeing forgotten things. Photos, art, and writing that had remained in the rubble of digital space, tethered by a single link, unseen for decades.
I'd get lost for hours following cobwebs of web rings, following each strand as far as it would take me before there were simply no more working links left.
With not much else going on in my life at the time, I started to feel as though I were living vicariously through the characters on these pages. I imagined what their lives were like the year they created their own personal website. I would sit, for hours, staring deeply into the backgrounds of old photographs, transporting myself into these worlds.
As a result, I began to also feel a close kinship with the people of the early internet. A kinship, and a shared sorrow. I too, have put evidence of my life onto the internet, and until I started this project, I had not considered that it could be deleted at the whim of a private corporation. Or perhaps worse, exploited in a nightmarish new technological fashion.
So I started saving the images. Just for me. Just because I loved them so. This deserted land was my haven from the banal realities of IRL life. i needed to keep it safe somewhere.
After. a while, I had "liberated" a trove of photos, animated gifs, background textures, poetry, digital art, and other bits and bobs. Then I started to ask myself-
What good does it do to have them sit on my hard drive? Now they are in a drawer?
I suppose I decided to try to make something of them around 2014, but I did not have the resources to do so. In DIY punk zine fashion, I tried making a photocopier version of Internet Archeology, but it seemed so amateur to me. Perhaps I knew I had more growing to do as an artist before I could take on this project.
So it was about five years later, when the pandemic started. I decided to make a comic book. A legit comic book. Not a photocopier comic book. A professionally printed comic book. And I set off on that goal, to make a comic book.
Long story short, as it turns out, the book-making process is actually quite easy. As it turns out, if you have time and money and the will to do it, you too can make and publish any little book your heart desires!
VOL 1 - PHOTOGRAPHY
Vol 1 is a showcase of lost moments. Of people. Of subcultures that dissipated decades ago. This is a small, photographic time capsule, broadcasting echoes of past events. A person's first time touching snow. A raging house fire. A new invention. A party. A kiss. Memories lost in cold, crystal cyber space.