The Internet Yami-Ichi
22 May 2021
10 am–2:30 pm
Central Market, Ljubljana
“Once upon a time, the Internet was supposed to be a place for ‘liberty’. Nowadays it’s so uptight. So let’s turn off, log-out, and drop-in, on the real world. The Internet Yami-Ichi is a flea market for ‘browsing’ face-to-face. Take your own Internet liberties here, with us”, the official presentation of the Internet Yami-Ichi reads. Conceived and presented by IDPW, a “secret society on the internet” organizing events and parties and including many Japanese media artists, the Internet Yami-Ichi came about when artist group EXONEMO got an app rejected from the Apple Store. The idea was simply to set up an offline “black market” to enjoy the freedom of exchange, creation and communication that once belonged to the internet before being given up to the interests of corporations and the control of political powers. A place where one could present and sell data as well as internet-inspired ideas.
First presented in Tokyo in November 2012, the Internet Yami-Ichi was a niche success. Offered online as an open format that could be enacted by anyone by following a simple “recipe”, it easily spread around the world, with more than 30 events realized so far. According to the recipe, an Internet Yami-Ichi is an event where “Internet-ish goods and services materialize in real space. It is up to you to interpret the “-ish” part.” The more open and loose the definition is, the better: artists, designers and makers can present functional and dysfunctional software, print-on-demand publications and objects, hoodies, t-shirts, patches, multiples, board games, card games, performances, glitched fabrics, physical computing experiments, meme-related socks or pins… The fresh and experimental nature of the format requires the borders between practices (art/design) and level (professional/amateur) to be kept blurred. The audience has to be involved as customer, participant, player and performer. The event explores and questions the increasingly blurred borders between online and offline, develops an alternate economy for the art world and provides a platform to share concerns about what the internet has become, as well as creative ideas that could affect its future evolution.
Production of the fair:
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2021
In coproduction with:
Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Ljubljana
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Kinodvor, Fini oglasi d.o.o.
Cover image: Sara Bezovšek
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