Sideline Collective, the same agency that brought us, “Nothing in the News” has made this internet more interesting by turning it off. Install the chrome extension, for ‘Nothing on the Internet” and with the click of a button, you turn the internet off and witness all the noise and clutter that occupies so much of your life disappear from your screen.
“This is what you have been browsing for all these years.”
You may find this sans content internet to be a rather pleasant experience. “This is what you have been browsing for all these years. This is the antidote. And this is our gift to you.” says the creators, Sidelines Collective, “It’s a little black box that sits in the top right corner of your browser. And when you click it, it turns any page on the internet into a serene tabula rasa with no text and no images.”
The creator of the Internet Off Button explains, “I found I was spending so much time online. I would log onto my computer, start searching for something, and resurface two or three hours later,” says the artist and filmmaker Joseph Ernst. “This whole chunk of my life would be gone forever. What happens if we reverse the process, strip away all the information, and leave the internet a little naked, to let you explore some digital landscapes in a calm and serene way?” he says. “It’s a human’s fighting back against the algorithm.”
Ernst first had the idea for Nothing on the Internet when he was working in a place with a slow internet connection. He began taking screenshots of websites as they were loading, before they’d become cluttered with any pesky content. As his folder of screenshots grew, he began to really appreciate that proverbial moment of silence on the internet, and wanted to have more control over it–essentially, he wanted a way to freeze that moment before a website loads to give himself a break from it all.
“It’s a human’s fighting back against the algorithm.”
“It’s a physical demonstration of how transient all this information is,” creator Ernst says. “When you’re immersed in these feeds, all the info is so urgent, it needs to be read now now now, but at the click of a button it’s all not there.”
There’s also an unintentional practical side to the application for designers–it gives you a sense of the structural hierarchies of different websites and how they use negative space.
You can even see what goodkin.org looks like without its content below:
The Chrome extension and Safari extension were created by Joseph Ernst and Jan van Bruggen of the Sideline Collective.