Get ready for retrospectives on Geocities, hackers and the historic World Wide Web
Berlin is all set to open the world's first dedicated IRL internet museum by the end of 2015. The internetmuseum.berlin promises to offer visitors a learning experience that begins with the birth of the internet in 1962 and follows the tech revolution all the way to present day, with a couple of interesting detours (a "school of hackers", anyone?) along the way.
The collective behind the museum is planning to launch a 1,000 square metre space in Berlin, which will also hold digital art exhibitions alongside its archives. They're currently looking to raise £440,000 in crowdfunding and sponsorship from major German tech brands. One of the most exciting promises on its website? That it will allow you to revisit Geocities, that long-lost relic that many of us cut our internet teeth on, before it disappeared along with Lycos and .biz websites.
This isn't the first attempt to memorialise the internet. There have been one-off exhibitions at science and technology museums, like the 2013 Web Lab in the Science Museum in London. There's even the online-only gallery The Big Internet Museum, which describes itself as "an interactive and ever-growing collection about the Internet and its remarkable graphic interface: the World Wide Web". So why not just have a museum about the internet, you know, on the internet?
Spokesperson Paulina Raszeja told Dazed: "We realised we want something more. It's not enough. The real space has more exhibitory potential due to its sensuality," she said. "The internet is the most innovative idea of 20th century. It influences our lives in so many ways, it's important for people to know its past and to understand how it works to use it safely, successfully and with responsibility. That's why among the objects of history we plan to organize workshops, interactive installations and events, the educational role of the museum is as important as its entertaining role."
internetmuseum.berlin will also exhibit legendary hardware that helped to shape and form the internet. Raszeja says that internet archivists and enthusiasts have already reached out to help with its growing collection.
If the internet has already merited its own museum after less than a half a century of existence, what will the world wide web – and the internetmuseum.berlin – look like in 200 years? "There will be something totally else going on with us," Raszeja predicts. "200 years of technological progress is a really gigantic period of time to predict. But assuming that not that much is going to change, every child of future should know the specific technology behind it and of course the complicated 'freedom' issue that we have a problem with today."
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