Web Safe 2k16, Live in Boston celebrates the completion of Web Safe 2k16, a literary/graphic project which explores our memories of the pre-broadband Internet and related technologies. The project made use of Lynda Weinman’s Web Safe color palette as a field of reference constraining a large and heterogeneous archive of personal recollections: 216 authors wrote 216 words each, inspired by a specific color in the web safe range.
Starting on February 16th, WS2K16 began publishing one short story daily, authors were asked to consider a historical span of roughly 20 years,starting with the widespread availability of VGA monitors and modems in the early ‘80s, through O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 Conference (2004). Authors interpreted the prompt a number of ways, touching on sharing, censorship, anonymity, exposure, sexuality, love and fear.
On this night, we'll come together to hear some of the writers from Web Safe 2k16 read live.
Web Safe 2k16 was built by three artists with strong interests in screens: the project’s conceptual architect is Ben Sisto, its editor is Josephine Livingstone, and its developer is Joe Bernardi.
About Ben, Josephine, and Joe:
Ben Sisto signed on to RI-based BBS The Eagle’s Nest in ‘94. He learned PCBoard to share ASCII art and DOOM .wads with his friend Derek. His first online purchase, via Prodigy, was a two-hooded Charlotte Hornets hoodie. He traded live Pearl Jam CDs under the username PJMEGAFAN and, around ‘95 asked strangers on AOL to go into their yards, dig up soil, and mail it to him. About 25 people did. He also works at Ace Hotel.
Josephine Livingstone is a writer and academic. She researches the history of space and nations in medieval poetry and maps, and explores digital approaches to undergraduate pedagogy in her teaching. This work in the field of deep time and imaginary space is the logical outcome of a teenhood spent online, posting and talking with anonymous adult males in other countries, finding strange moments of common ground through internet visual exchange. For her internet culture is—or, perhaps, was— about rummaging through whatever shared index of imagery can bring strangers together into conversation, friendship, even love. She also reviews books and works atn+1.
Almost twenty years ago, Joe Bernardi joined the Sockheads, a listserv/fan club geared towards the late-night MTV show Sifl & Olly. Since then, he’s been consumed by the internet’s ability to bring broadly likeminded people together over things as specific as a cult television show about sock puppets. At fourteen he purchased his first domain name, fullyclothedteens.net, through which he met people IRL and accomplished quintessentially teenage things like shoplifting a copy of Naked Lunch, the The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon accompaniment, and getting stood up entirely. He also works at Paddle8.