Nasty nets
May 17, 2009 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Nasty nets is an internet surfing club, online since 1996.

Prominent net.artists are among its users. Just like Olia Lialina.
posted by - (29 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- goodnewsfortheinsane

Whoa! It's like a Web 1.0 version of Metafilter!
posted by dunkadunc at 2:13 PM on May 17, 2009

What? MetaFilter is the Web 1.0 version of MetaFilter!
posted by loquacious at 2:20 PM on May 17, 2009 [7 favorites]

I'm somewhat disappointed at this allegedly ur-Metafilter; the date says "Since 2006" and it features one of the least aesthetically pleasing WordPress themes I have ever seen. But who am I to show disrespect towards a brother community.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:23 PM on May 17, 2009

OK, I stand corrected. 0.2.1 Proof Of Concept.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:49 PM on May 17, 2009

it says since 2006 on the website - a site with demon babies has to be pretty good
posted by pyramid termite at 2:59 PM on May 17, 2009

Well this was a suprise It was embeded in an iframe on that site.
posted by delmoi at 3:33 PM on May 17, 2009

Ummm? Ermmm.... Um... Is it new?
posted by popcassady at 3:38 PM on May 17, 2009

It's like the minor league version of fark.
posted by verb at 3:56 PM on May 17, 2009

i have no idea what to make of this.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:01 PM on May 17, 2009

1996. That's when I had my 14.1k modem (an improvement over the 9600 one I used to use at school). Took an age to download even the simplest of pages. I remember feeling like David Lightman when I visited the Whitehouse site -- even though it took half an hour to load the homepage.

But because sites took so long to load, I'd read the entire page before moving on. Nowadays, with my whizzy broadband I just say 'meh' and click next until I find something interesting.
posted by popcassady at 4:17 PM on May 17, 2009

nice professional white background!
posted by localhuman at 5:08 PM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I remember feeling like David Lightman when I visited the Whitehouse site...

The Whitehouse site?
posted by setanor at 5:45 PM on May 17, 2009

I can appreciate the minimalism but these days, if it doesn't use RSS feeds it doesn't get read. Supporting images in posts would be real swell, though. Fuel for the whole "metafilter is the ur-nasty nets" arguments.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 6:04 PM on May 17, 2009

1996. That's when I had my 14.1k modem (an improvement over the 9600 one I used to use at school).

Lucky. At home I had a 14.4 baud modem, but the only AOL hookup was 2400 baud for a while. I actually got my first PC in 1995. But, I actually had a computer lab with broadband nearby at ISU. They had some macs that didn't require a logon and I could get on and surf in highspeed. I'd actually been going since '94.

I actually remember when Yahoo came out ( and how it was so much better then GNN.
posted by delmoi at 6:06 PM on May 17, 2009

This is for a different type of person than me.
posted by ryaninoakland at 6:52 PM on May 17, 2009

Lucky. At home I had a 14.4 baud modem...


I got my start at 300 baud, and had to physically unplug the handset from the phone and plug it into the - wait for it - HesModem1 that was plugged into the back of my C64. I had to run some crazy terminal emulator (VIPTerm, maybe?) to get a fugazi 80 column screen. 80 columns was useful because a certain large payroll company had left a dialup modem running on one of its Unix hosts, but had never bothered to set a password for the uucp user. Another of us figured out that the same box could dial out as well, so we spent our evenings checking out the BBS scene in Hawaii, such as it was.

This was circa 1985-86. In college (~90) , someone pulled up a copy of Mosaic. No one was particularly impressed; we hunched back over our terminals to get back to Usenet and IRC.

Before that, we used to mail our handwritten bytes to each other. In EBCDIC. Now get off my lawn.
posted by jquinby at 7:03 PM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Everyone, slow down. The pterodactyl in my garage is reading these punch cards as fast as he can.

It's a living.
posted by chicobangs at 7:21 PM on May 17, 2009 [5 favorites]

I believe the guy in "Care Bear Stare" is none other than Matthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti and The Morning News.

I may be wrong, but it really does look like him.
posted by Xoebe at 7:36 PM on May 17, 2009

Not it.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 7:58 PM on May 17, 2009

How did Nasty Nets first come about? What have you found interesting about the ways the project has developed since its inception, and how do you see it as similar to or distinct from other surfing clubs?

In early 2006, I wanted to start some kind of Internet surfing community site with surf buddies John Michael Boling and Joel Holmberg. We rolled around a ton of different complex structural ideas, but we eventually decided to simply start a blog (duh). Marisa Olson helped us get it going... Basically, Nasty Nets was all the surfers I'd met through trading links on who'd already been developing a special "taste" in surfing: a fascination with defaults and a certain kind of banal deadpan. (I'll point to Travis Hallenbeck as the obvious best example of this kind of surfing.) It seemed like a wonderfully unpretentious and playfully nerdy thing to do, for artists who live in different parts of the world to unite though an online club. (Of course collectives Beige and Paper Rad were big influences here...) I love that every surf club seems to develop its own rhythm, even without setting forth any official goals or rules something coherent seems to develop organically (like a band). I think after a while, a lot of us felt like NN lost that rhythm and got too big... I've been praying that new surf clubs would pop up in its (temporary?) absence-- I'm really stoked for Kevin [Bewersdorf] and Paul [Slocum]'s new surf club, Spirit Surfers! -- Rhizome interview with Guthrie Lonergan

posted by dhartung at 9:21 PM on May 17, 2009

I believe the guy in "Care Bear Stare" is none other than Matthew Baldwin

As attributed, it's Constant Dullaart. Which sounds made-up given the high concept here.
posted by dhartung at 9:30 PM on May 17, 2009

I like the "back in the day" stories of the Internet. Would it be a derail or a salvage if we have more of those?
posted by aniola at 10:30 PM on May 17, 2009

I got my start at 300 baud

ha! when i first got on the net we had to punch out punch cards, fold them into paper airplanes and throw them out the window to the next office
posted by pyramid termite at 11:03 PM on May 17, 2009

You had windows? We had to fold the cards into paper rockets and blast through the brick walls.
posted by zachlipton at 11:19 PM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh man, Nasty Nets!!! I'm there on the "users" page (Britta). This is one of my favorite blogs.

For context, the Rhizome interview with Guthrie, linked by dhartung above, is a really good start. Note the mention of "a fascination with defaults and a certain kind of banal deadpan" — that ugly WordPress theme is on purpose. Guthrie's Hacking vs. Defaults chart is important. Pretty much everything about the site is on purpose. I see it as a way of gathering up the detritus of the web and saying "Look, look! this is actually totally great."

It took me a long time to even begin to understand Nasty Nets, even after meeting some of the people involved, getting to know them as friends, and getting invited to post. I still don't quite understand; I am still a fan rather than really one of the artists, but it changed the way I look at the web. I slowly learned that all of that native Web 1.0 ugliness is wonderful junk to be celebrated in ugly ways.

More context: Rhizome's "Professional Surfer" web exhibit: "Framed as individual artworks, the websites employ appropriation in ways that are reminiscent of Pop, video or conceptual art, yet set apart by a deep immersion in their surrounding digital environment." About Nasty Nets: "members share a taste for the ridiculous...the distinction between parody and sincere appreciation is here collapsed."

Also, a long analysis of the art practices of surfing clubs: "Google and Yahoo became enormous flea markets of images and discourses and effectively the first investigative frames of reference...A singular post is an act of exhibition/exposition, pointing to a specific statement and claiming it’s importance, effectively making a case for extracting it from the formless matrix of information."

More useful stuff: the website for a Web Art class, the description for the Nasty Nets DVD, etc.
posted by dreamyshade at 12:38 AM on May 18, 2009 [4 favorites]

My 1996 closest equivalent to Metafilter, as least as a source of random stuff - there was no discussion - was Netsurfer Digest. Here is their first edition from 1994 - this was a time when you could sum up everything worthwhile which had appeared online in one weekly newsletter.
posted by rongorongo at 4:06 AM on May 18, 2009

wow. first lolcats?
...A recurring theme: felines who prefer unusual foods, such as a cat who goes ga-ga for angel food cake, a kitty who craves cantaloupe, and a tabby addicted to spaghetti.
posted by joecacti at 5:37 AM on May 18, 2009

This is clearly in the Top 5% of all sites!
posted by ALongDecember at 7:57 AM on May 18, 2009

1996! That's where I'm a viking!

(steps back and waits...)
posted by Naberius at 9:27 AM on May 18, 2009

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