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Photos by Tucker W. Mitchell
September 2021

Internet Nostalgia is techno-interactive live video game exploring the history of the internet. For something made of binary, the internet has played a significant role in popularizing gender politics and housing virtual spaces to explore trans identity. However, just as online anonymity and the free software movement have been aged out by corporatocracy, such online spaces have been infiltrated by hate groups and/or criminalized by algorithms. The rapid succession of the trend cycle, which has popularized Queer liberation movements and protest art, has only exploited their aesthetics, muddied their histories, and contributed to the consumerist waste that impacts all of our futures. 

Ironically, transhumanism has been offered as a solution to the existential threat of climate change. Russian entrepreneur, media mogul, and billionaire, Dmitry Itskov, predicts that in the year 2045, humans will be able to back themselves up to the cloud. Through a utopian lens, this user control might seem like a trans dream, mimicking the anonymity of the early internet. This does not take into account the physical impact of such a digital world as well as how current power structures would define it. 

Internet Nostalgia mocks up a thrifted version of this simulated future. Discarded technologies are repurposed to create a sculptural maze of tech waste; interconnected through a web of Arduino sensors with a Max MSP brain and personalized with an interactive playlist of digital nostalgia. A humanized version of a Microsoft Virtual Assistant (think “Clippy” in drag,) guides visitors through this physical manifestation of virtual reality with AI generated instructions, deciding in real time when to break the script and resort to their humanity.

Internet Nostalgia is a tech repair/repurposing project that, through nostalgia around our own digital footprint, questions if our anonymity has been bought, and if so, what role do we want social technologies to play in our futures.

Created by Art Kopischke
with Amanda Enzo
Ryan Cook
Camellia Bayle-Spence

Presented at:
Am I Write Ladies

Lino Kino at Hot Bed Gallery Philly
Adult Film

Sponsored by:
Tri-Try Again Studios
City Artist Corps Grants
Futuress Fellowship

Published in:
LinoKino Zine 

recent performance footage at Hot Bed Philly and ApartmentPARTY
September 2021

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