As a child of the late eighties, I am amongst the youngest group to remember a time before the ubiquity of the internet. We will be the last ones left to tell the next generations of a quaint time when we used real encyclopedias to find information for school projects, when birthday invitations had to be delivered instead of Facebooked or emailed, when you actually had to go to the bank to find out your account balance. We grew up at the same time the world-wide web did.
Maybe this is why I am so captivated by Internet Archaeology, possibly one of the coolest internet projects I have ever come across. Internet Archaeology trawls the depths of the web, seeking to “explore, recover, archive and showcase the graphic artifacts found within earlier Internet Culture”. Their mission is the collection and preservation of early JPGs and GIFs, often crudely created in MS Paint for homemade sites like the ones on Angelfire or the now defunct GeoCities web-hosting service. The result is a hilarious mishmash of winking cats, dancing text and pixellated Jesuses which will take you back to your first days of web-surfing. But it is also a fascinating collection of 1990s folk culture, and some day might even prove to be an important historical resource for these ephemeral early images of the internet.
Go click through the site, (Click everything! Each image is more fantastic than the last!) and delight in the visual culture of the internet’s childhood years. I think my favourite is the pets section, although these animated religious figures are pretty good too.
// All images via Internet Archaeology. Found via the terrific online magazine It’s Nice That.
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I’m from the future. Thank you.
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There’s something charming about those “crude” 90s graphics created in MS Paint. There’s a simplicity and pixellated elegance that you don’t see on today’s computer graphics. I much preferred those old-style, aliased icons in Windows, like that manila briefcase icon over the current brown one.
completely agree. early internet graphics are the best thing ever.
archaelogy is really an interesting subject, it enables us to learn about our past.-
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Oh the Internet in its infancy…look what you grew into too. I can’t wait to blow my kid’s mind by telling them I was born before the Internet. It will be like when my grandma told me she remembered a time before tv….”WHAT!! How did you LIVE?”
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This is really cool. I feel like most of the pictures I create still look exactly like this.