Dev Trading Cards and Telephone Tinder—Six Projects We Dug at Internet Yami-Ichi

The flea market-like setting for the web made real first appeared in Japan

Inside the Knockdown Center in Queens for Internet Yami-Ichi. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Inside the Knockdown Center in Queens for Internet Yami-Ichi. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

A black market bloomed in Queens this past Saturday. Internet Yami-Ichi (“yami-ichi” means “black market” in Japanese) appeared in New York City for the first time, at the Knockdown Center, a beautiful but somewhat remote event space within what adventurous types would call walking distance from Bushwick.

It was an event where artists and makers made the Internet and its ideas real and physical.

Here are six projects we dug:

Taisan Tanaka, half of The Human Printer, lettering the name of the reporter. (Photo: Joanna Purpich, used by permission)

Taisan Tanaka, half of The Human Printer, lettering the name of the reporter. (Photo: Joanna Purpich, used by permission)

For one dollar, Takeori Motohashi drew my portrait and his partner, Mr. Tanaka (pictured above), wrote out my name. Together, they are The Human Printer. Mr. Motohashi carefully, quietly drew a very precise portrait. Mr. Tanaka’s work is 75 percent performance. It’s the best dollar I have ever spent.

Here’s the duo’s drawing of this reporter.

GitHub stars trading cards. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

GitHub stars trading cards. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

The Github League” are trading cards representing the top contributors on GitHub, the public repository of code. It’s a project by Fletcher Bach and John Farrell, two NYU ITP grads who came up with this series when they heard Internet Yami-Ichi was coming to town.

Hamster selfie wheel, by Party. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Hamster selfie wheel, by Party. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

PARTY is a creative agency now partly based in New York City. They do very clever, playful projects for brands. For example, they constructed a life-sized doll of Lady Gaga, at her request. For the black market, they were showing off some of their side projects, including this hamster selfie-wheel. The company’s Masashi Kawamura explained that when the rodent runs in its wheel, the camera takes its photo.

Babycastles' doctors office. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Babycastles’ doctors office. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Video game art collective Babycastles had an elaborate doctor’s office and pharmacy on site. Part of the examination process included the doctor, shown, directing you to throw the object in her hand at someone. She actually directed this reporter to throw it at the patient under examination in this photo. I think I threw it too hard. Sorry, stranger.

She diagnosed me as “dead.” It’s okay, though. They had a prescription for the condition. I’m not sure where to go for a follow-up, however. Maybe at WordHack XV, an event on where technology meets language, at their 14th Street space on September 17?

Claire and Emily make Internet inspired home goods. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Claire and Emily make Internet-inspired home goods. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Claire and Emily will soon release its first line of home goods, a pillow and a set of curtains, both with imagery from the good old days of Microsoft Windows. They had them on view on their laptops, though they told the Observer that their first runs are already made and should be in their hands any minute.

Watch my dad sleep. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Qanta Shimizu invites visitors to watch his dad sleep in Tokyo. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Qanta Shimizu, one of the founders of Party, had set up a tent where people could pay him one dollar for a few minutes of watching his dad sleep in Tokyo. “Actually, the object of this project is to monetize my dad,” Mr. Shimizu said, explaining that since his dad was his origin, it was meaningful to get money by selling him.

Tinder on Dial. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

Tinder on Dial. (Photo: Brady Dale for Observer)

This wasn’t a booth: it was a flier posted in the bathroom stalls, for “Tinder on Dial.” It works. Call 206.456.1794. Leave a profile. See if you get any calls. You can also listen to profiles and maybe find someone you like. Perhaps?

Tinder on Dial is a project by NYU-ITP grad, Yu Ji.

Today’s dating technology isn’t working. Please use this all audio system. Please go out with someone. Please let us know.

The event was free to attend and free to table at. It even had a free shuttle to the L stop, a 20 minute walk away.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with the creator of the last project listed. 9/15/15 11:27 a.m.

Dev Trading Cards and Telephone Tinder—Six Projects We Dug at Internet Yami-Ichi