My Girlfriend Is an Artist Dot Com
I'm the cloudlord of the domainscape.
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
We live in a place where we hear the seagulls sing. Seagulls are Ana’s favourite bird; their high pitch scream reminds her that we are near the water. Whenever we hear a seagull, Ana pauses for a moment. And in her gaze, I see the sparkling reflection of sun rays in gentle water ripples and the eternal force of breaking waves.
The visual representation of the internet is sterile. A dehumanising blue on a dystopian black. A globe surrounded by illuminated lines, screens floating in space, deserted server rooms, and clouds with webs of random icons. Every visualisation forgets that the internet runs in physical cables. Cables that pass through trees and cross shorelines. Cables that enable you to read my words.
Living with Ana is like living in an artwork. Colours, shapes, and shadows merge into a timeless eternity. Instead of photographing the sprouting of the birch in front of our home, Ana captures the shadows of its leaves dancing on our living room wall in the reflected light of the late afternoon sun.
Ana’s photos are my favourite element of this newsletter. Through their softness and sensitivity, they provide a safe space for other voices to articulate what it means to live with the internet. And they frame a place where it feels natural to share the odd and poetic corners of the internet wilderness.
If you feel similar, you now have the rare opportunity to bring Ana’s photos out of your inbox and onto your wall. Because this week Ana made a web-shop, putting five prints up for sale. All five prints are from our trips to Japan, each print in only one edition, and only a couple of are left. They can become yours on www.mygirlfriendisanartist.com.
Ana’s edition of one prints from Japan series.
Leo Tong is a curious culturalist, designer, tinkerer, autodidact of many useless skills. After following his interests professionally in music, technology, riding bikes, food, he's currently doing things in wine and lives in Copenhagen. He also loves maps, spreadsheets, fixing shit and is a proud migrant.
K: How would you like to be remembered online?
Leo: I think I’d rather not be. Although I consider the internet my home, more so than any particular country — I am truly grateful for the offline connections and friendships it has afforded me, and I’d prefer to be remembered in the physical world. How? I’ve not thought that far.
K: Who would you like to provide a website for that can’t make it themselves?
Leo: Well — my bank, Oikos — they have a website, but it could do with a refresh. For years I have been a supporter and early-adopter of fintech innovations, joined countless new banking services, and then recently decided to go in the exact opposite direction and find the most well-intentioned, non-VC funded, ‘analogue’ bank I could find. One where I could phone my bank manager and they would treat me like a regular in their café rather than a support ticket. This one invests in the community, like small-business loans to refugees in Denmark, or microloans to women in Zimbabwe. I can’t even check my balance in real-time, but I think I can live with that.
K: How would you describe your work to my grandparents?
Leo: I can barely describe it to my parents. I tell them I’m currently a shopkeeper. They don’t really care as long as I am happy, healthy, and kind, and for that I love them.
K: What do you have saved in your bookmarks?
Leo: A stream of consciousness of things I’m interested in, blocks of research sessions, things I intend to use one day or come back to (but rarely do), plenty of unfinished ‘projects’, neat tools, reference guides, etc. Some of it is logically organised, but otherwise, mostly it’s a mess. I often record thoughts in the form of URLs but with no real order. It probably says a lot about me. I just checked how many bookmarks I still have that I have access to: ~28,000. Many others were lost in crashes and sunset services. RIP.
K: How do you archive your thoughts?
Leo: See above. Also in loose paper notes, Post-its stuck together, lost notebooks in several countries, plenty of digital note-taking tools over the years. I think I’ve settled on Standard Notes — it’s just plain text. It’s sufficient for my needs. Surprisingly, I have a visual memory for where most of these thoughts were recorded, just not what was recorded.
K: What was your first internet handle?
Leo: DefCon4 I think… mega lame. I was found on IRC, ICQ, other random newsgroups, forums, GeoCities… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
K: What is the deepest ocean you went diving in?
Leo: Too many to remember the deepest. But recently I went pretty deep on advanced playground design, vintage mid-century lighting, why printers still suck, indie radio stations. When I am interested in something I tend to go pretty deep. I seem to know a decent amount about a lot of mostly useless and unrelated things as a result... like how a new emoji is created.
K: What do you have open in your tabs?
Leo: Tabs consume memory, so usually just the things I need to have open plus a couple of distractions. I usually save the things I shouldn’t have open as bookmarks.
Things Are a Little Crazy rn — two bots trying to make an appointment.
The most comprehensive newsletter for sharing rare corners of the internet is back after a nine month hiatus. I warn you before clicking, Web Curious is time consuming. If you can point me to any newsletter that is more comprehensive I’ll ship you a Naive Weekly print in reward.
“Congratulations, you have reached a digital resting,” is such a perfect caption for an Instagram story. It reminds me of The End of The Internet and Empty Day, and it gives me the opportunity to announce that I’m conspiring on bringing Naive Weekly to Instagram.
“The purpose of a website guestbook is to display the kind of visitors the site gets, including the part of the world they reside in, and gain feedback from them.” Feel free to leave your note.
“The internet was becoming a place of work and gloom for me. This newsletter reminded me there are others looking for beauty and a feeling of belonging here. Thank you.” — Hassely on April 4, 2021
“Really enjoy the way you enlighten different aspects and corners of the internet!” — Nicklas on March 29, 2021
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
Hey, if you make it this far. Please hit reply with an emoji in the colour of the sky outside of your window right now.
Last week this letter was sent to 761 people. Thirtyfour are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.