Poet wants us to print out the internet. All of it

by Toby Manhire / 10 June, 2013
But the paper won't fit in the storage warehouse he's secured, says blogger.
For his next trick, Kenneth Goldsmith wants us to the print out the internet.

All of it.

The New York Museum of Modern Art’s in-house poet laureate is urging us to send it to Mexico, where he has secured 500 square metres of storage space.

The project, a tribute to the online activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide after being arrested for alleged hacking crimes, is an attempt to “materialise and actualise” the internet.

And no fancy “creative interpretations” – just printouts. “We’re literally looking for folks to print out the entire internet.”

At TechHive, the appositely named Mark Hachman has taken Goldsmith quite literally.

Conservative estimates suggest the world wide web comprises 4.73 billion pages. If each could be squeezed on to a single sheet of paper (it can’t, but, you know), that would create a pile “about 55.7 times the height of Mt Everest”.

And Goldsmith says emails count, too. In 2012 an estimated 144 billion were sent– “that’s 52,560,000,000,000 emails per year”. Or, roughly, “14 separate stacks of paper from the Earth to the Moon”.

So it wouldn’t fit in the warehouses. And posting it to Mexico? From the US alone, “the total cost would be $3.126 trillion”. Hachman’s advice: “Don’t bother ... It’s impossible.” Which, of course, is kind of Goldsmith’s point.


MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


What went wrong on the Kaipara bar?
First look: Seabreeze
63707 2016-11-29 17:12:06Z Auckland Eats

First look: Seabreeze

by Courteney Peters

Nostalgia and newness at Brodie McDonald’s long-awaited Westmere café.

Read more
There’s not a bum note in latest royal drama The Crown – a glimpse of Philip’s backside notwithstanding
Win Misty Copeland's signed pointe shoes, a double pass to Dancer, and Ballerina's Tale DVD
Are protection orders taken seriously?
In pictures: New Zealand, United States, and the Nuclear controversy
Engineers and earthquakes: A normal person's guide
Marti Friedlander: A picture of empathy
63624 2016-11-29 10:35:15Z Arts

Marti Friedlander: A picture of empathy

by Deborah Smith

Eloquent and tenacious, Marti Friedlander took photographs that depicted her adopted home of New Zealand with empathy and breathtaking clarity.

Read more