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Meet the man who wants to "print all the Internet"

Avant-garde technology artist Kenneth Goldsmith has 500 square meters of space in Mexico City to fill with ceilings six meters high and has given himself a deadline of July 26th to have the entire Internet printed off and under one roof. The project is designed to be a tribute to Reddit founder Aaron Swartz who committed suicide earlier this year in the face of allegations he had broken information laws by downloading enormous numbers of academic articles from the JSTOR service to share online.

According to the artist: “What you decide to print out is up to you — as long as it exists somewhere online, it’s in,” Goldsmith’s announcement explains. “We just want shitloads of paper. We’re literally looking for folks to print out the entire internet. We have over 500 square meters of space to fill, with ceilings that are over 6 meters high.” This exhibition (if that’s the right word for it) will go on view July 26; when it ends in August, the paper will be recycled. 

Using a Tumblr page to promote his internet plan, Goldsmith has of course encountered some criticism of his grandiose plan. Some have taken to Twitter, where else? To call the work a great 'conceptual piece' in theory, but the 'actual realization of which is an unbelievably stupid idead.' In his defense, Goldsmith has admitted that to print off the Internet is not feasible.

printing-the-internet

'While we could theorize printing out the internet in its entirety -- something that a conceptual art piece would do -- the sheer bulk and physicality of the act needs to be materialized to be able to understand the sheer magnitude,' he told Yahoo.com via email.  However, this is not just a whim of Goldsmith's, he does have some previous work to point to in the same area.

 

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