What does all the free-floating crap on the internet actually add up to? It’s anyone’s guess, but French magazine Nichons—Nous dans l’Internet (Boobs—We in the Internet) is taking a stab at extracting something meaningful from the world-wide mess in its third issue, out now.
Previous issues have brought such topics to light as jewelry memes, the internet as read by the blind, and game play on Instagram and Twitter—and the table of contents for issue number three are no less intriguing: scams, the internet from space, something Google has translated as “the Indian untouchables on YouTube,” and ice-cream emojis.
We spoke with one of the magazines founders, Julien Achard, to basically ask: what the hell?
Launching a print magazine about the internet is kind of a crazy—even risky—idea. How did Nichons start?
In 2012 I worked with our creative director, Enora Denis (also a freelance creative director), and Alexandre Léchenet, our editor-in-chief (and a journalist for Libération) on a blog called Matière Primaire, which used infographics to cover the U.S. and French elections. We wanted to keep working together once the project was over, and the idea of doing print was something we always wanted to do. We asked ourselves what we’d like to talk about and the answer was obviously the internet, as it fills most of our lives.
Why make a print magazine about the internet? This may sound obvious, but why not a website?
That’s the whole point. We wanted to take the content out of its context.
We’re big fans of the idea of archiving the internet. Talking about the internet in a printed magazine is a way to keep a record of what we’re doing and the subjects we’re exploring. Paper stays around, whereas a website or a blog could be erased in a second if we wanted.
Can you tell me more about issue no.3? What scams do you cover? And can you give me a hint of what “the internet from space” means?
I think it’s our best issue yet; the articles and creative work really merge together and don’t seem like a slightly bizarre patchwork. It’s also the first issue we did without having pre-sold a lot of copies, like with the first two which were both crowd-sourced.
As for the topics, the scams are the work of the amazing James Howard. The internet from space is a crossed interview of several astronauts, which came from the question: how do you experience the internet in space? We wanted to know how it changed their experience and whether it made the isolation easier or harder.
As internet connoisseurs, what are some of your favorite sites?
The Internet Archive is one my favorites, and I really like Ffffound, a pre-Tumblr image board that still manages to stay relevant. But it’s always changing.