The internet is a vast expanse, full of endless treasures, glimpses of difference, and the messiness of being human—but so often we only get to skim the bubbles that rise to the top, as filtered through algorithmic popularity contests or the business models and ideologies of megaplatforms. In this workshop, you'll plunge the deepest darkest depths of Youtube to unearth what lies beneath the surface: the deleted, unread, maligned, and ignored.
Think of it as trivia night with no wrong answers, or like a creative internet scavenger hunt, or an escape room in which the only thing you’re trying to escape is The Algorithm.
You’ll be sorted into teams, and over the course of an hour, your team will complete a set of challenges. You may be led through internet trapdoors towards unexpected posts. Or you may be tasked with collaborating to turn what you find into mini artworks—collages, poems, napkin drawings. You may find yourself scrambling through your home to take a photo, or texting a link to your mom.
It will be silly, subversive, collaborative, and most importantly, fun.
When it's all said and done we’ll talk about what we learned, show off what we made, and finish off the day with water between our toes.
Sound weird? Intriguing? Confusing? The good news is, you don't need to understand anything ahead of time or have any prior diving experience. Just bring an open laptop and an open mind and you're sure to have a good time.
We’ll assign everyone to a team when they arrive, but you may also join as a team (3–6 people recommended).
Elan is a Pittsburgh-based designer and educator currently leading the product team at a nonprofit criminal justice news organization called The Marshall Project and teaching design at Chatham University. Elan runs a pop-up design studio that funnels its profits to mutual aid projects, and obsesses over the least visited corners of the internet in the Deep Sea Diving newsletter.
Choose to pay the amount you can afford—or sign up for free. Your donation will support Index programming and allow us to compensate Elan. We appreciate your support!