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Consumer Lifestyle
Published: 25 Aug 2015

Internet Black Market, New York

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Unfit Bits

New York's Knockdown Center will host the US debut of Internet Yami-Ichi (internet black market) on September 12. The flea market-style bazaar will bring together artists, creators and makers to sell and trade internet-related objects.

The event is intended to spark real-world discussion around internet culture, data, friendships and how our reliance on smartphones and desire for quick communication have spawned new second languages – such a memes and emoji.

Highlights include Australian chef Daniel Johnston's Internet Bakery, which turns online "treats" such a web cookies into baked goods. The Social Clinic by New York-based creatives Chang Liu, Oryan Inbar and Ava Huang features Face Ray – a face-detecting photo booth that identifies "social symptoms" and gives prescriptions. Meanwhile, US-based Unfit Bits encourages users to put Fitbit health trackers provided by insurance companies on moving objects – such as metronomes – to "spoof your way to financial rewards".

Conceived by Japanese artistic duo Akaiwa Yae and Sembo Kensuke and online collective IDPW.org, the first Yami-Ichi festival took place in Japan three years ago. The event has since spread to Berlin, Brussels and Amsterdam. The New York edition will be the largest yet, with over 100 vendors spread across the 50,000 sq ft former glass factory.

For more on the blurring boundaries between the real and the virtual – including the world Beyond Wearables – see our Post-Digital Macro Trend. We explore the rise of internet languages in The Emoji Economy, Emoji-Based Food Delivery, Weaver: Next-Gen Emoji and our latest Pop-Culture Round-Up.

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