Home

This is the project site for the Cultural History of the Internet course at Johns Hopkins University.

A collective project, it takes a critical approach to internet history, considering a wide spectrum of cultural practices involved in web services and apps, while exploring questions of access and algorithmic bias. It takes an interest in not only the common narratives of innovation, extending from the military infrastructure of ARPANET to the nineties dot-com boom to the emerging internet of things, but also the host of dead ends and lost sites, net ephemera, and once thriving web cultures that risk being forgotten.

The course’s guiding framework is the circuit of culture approach developed by du Gay et al. (1997), which emphasizes the role of meaning in the creation of cultural commodities and outlines five interconnected areas for analyzing any cultural object: “how it is represented, what social identities are associated with it, how it is produced and consumed, and what mechanisms regulate its distribution and use” (3). Significantly, it is an approach that developed in the same cultural moment as the internet was coming into everyday life and might itself be seen as an artifact of that moment.

Taught by Kyle Stine.

The OG: Crypto Punks by Larva Labs

Crypto punks were created and released for free at the height of the 2017 crypto boom by John Watkinson and Matt Hall who also go by the name Larva Labs. As one of the earliest NFT projects, they were originally released as an anti-establishment art experiment. They were released for free as Ethereum’s ERC-71 non

Continue reading

The WALTZ collection by Sunflower Industries

The WALTZ collection by Sunflower Industries Generative art is a process in which new colors, shapes, or designs are created on a digital canvas by an algorithm that functions autonomously. By doing this, artists (rather, writers of these algorithms) are able to produce unique pieces that provide a level of sophistication that contributes to the

Continue reading

NFT Horse Racing: A Gamble Within a Gamble

NFT Horse Racing: A Gamble Within a Gamble The world of NFTs has been conventionally associated with the art/digital graphics sphere. This is to say that NFTs are synonymous with ownership over images, gifs, videos which themselves are finite resources that begin and end with the data in the media whose ownership is verified by

Continue reading