NET/STALGIA: Nostalgia-Tripping on the Internet Aesthetic


Brie Hiramine

Class Year


Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program


As the Internet drifts away from being a novel technology, people have increasingly become fascinated by the sometimes-garish, comparatively rudimentary aesthetics of the early web. Using Walter Benjamin’s reflections on the Parisian arcades as a framework, I propose that this nostalgia for the hand-made digital does not necessarily reflect a desire to return to the dial-up era. Rather, what people are actually missing is the energy of possibility for the potential future. To further this comparison, my art installation, the internet was my teenage bedroom, expounds upon the written critical component of my thesis, drawing a parallel between the teenage bedroom and the older Internet as spaces of rich excitement, discovery, and creativity–something special, pure, and somewhat utopic in the personal and beyond.