Lately I’ve been really into slow internet. Is that a thing? (Note: I used the internet to look this up, and of course it’s a thing). I’ve sort of maxed out on Twitter and Facebook and all the brain-slaying feelings that come with seeing a thousand things all at once, and lately I’ve been in this phase where I’m incredibly specific about how I spend my internet time. So for this post, I’m going to share with you all of my favorite slow internet obsessions. Shhhh.
Pates Tapes — Charles Pates’ vinyl collection in just-right playlists
Oh man, I think I’ve been listening to Charles Pates’ expertly curated digital mixtapes for ten years or more… definitely before Spotify or decent internet radio existed. It used to all be hosted online here (gotta say that the analog vibe of the original site was one of my favorite parts about it), but then Charles Pates got into some sort of copyright trubbs, so now he’s hosting it all on SoundCloud — where it sounds even better.
Panther Modern — The perfect internet-based artwork
Curated by LaTurbo Avedon — one of my all-time favorite artists — this digital exhibition space has been around for a couple of years now, and it keeps getting better and more expansive. I’m obsessed with the idea of a virtual museum that, while borrowing the language and constructs of a traditional gallery, is able to transcend the constrictions of actual time/space and become a completely untethered digital experience. You can “visit” a bunch of “rooms” designed by a stellar cast of pioneering digital artists, including Angela Washko, Claudia Hart, Vince McKelvie, Eva Papamargariti, and Mark Dorf.
Digg Deeper — For when you’re too tired and busy for unfiltered Twitter
Just because I don’t tweet 50 times a day anymore doesn’t mean I’m not still invested in staying in the loop on important conversations as they bubble up. Digg Deeper is a service that will send you email updates when tweets/articles are blowin’ up in your network, sort of like making a friend text you from the party to let you know if it’s fun or not, then showing up late and pretending you were always there.
Internet libraries — Bring me all of the rare .pdfs
Even though I romanticize the hell out of academia, I never got a master’s degree or a PhD or anything fancy because I’m a lone wolf who would rather learn things by my damn self (clearly I should dig into this further with my therapist.) Anyway, I covet these dimly lit corners of the internet where wonderful people have organized hyperlinks into swarming bodies of knowledge, ready and waiting for your perusal. It’s in hubs like these that the original magic of the internet still exists; where you can download a few hundred pages of .pdfs and then turn on an eight-hour YouTube video of a burning fireplace and melt your face off with big, dreamy ideas. Some great internet libraries that I’ve discovered recently are Laurel Schwulst’s veryinteractive.net/library, where you can breeze through the reading list for her interactive design class at Yale (favorite .pdfs include Dunne and Raby’s Design Noir and Moholy Nagy’s Typophoto), and The Serving Library, an “ambitious public website” that’s sort of a thought experiment crossed with an archive crossed with a magazine.
NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day — The slowest, biggest thing on the internet
Every day, go look at a picture of a crazy-gorgeous nebula or a lens flare created by a bazillion-year-old star and remind yourself you’re just a teeny, tiny speck-of-meaning wannabe flailing around at the very bottom of something so, so, so huge that you’ll never be able to understand it all. So take a deep breath and get off Twitter and go enjoy living in ignorant bliss!