Kicks Condor

The Life and Death of an Internet Onion

Net.art? Literature? Zine? No, an Internet onion.

This project only appears to have about two weeks left - but it’s a good time to check it out because there’s a lot there now. A lot of onion!

This is a webzine - concept by Laurel Schwultz, but made possible by a team - where new writing is added from contributors every day for five weeks. (Back for its second season, it appears: here’s a snapshot from last August.[1])

The onion works like so:

Just so you know, onions grow new layers from the inside-out. The oldest layers are on the outside, and the newest on the inside.

In true onion skin style, you can slightly make out the next entry in the background of the current entry you’re reading. You can also browse by contributor.

This new site includes the 2020 onion as well - the new season starts at layer twenty-three.

Part of what really pushed me to posting about this, though, is this amazing spreadsheet:

Internet Onion Decay Spreadsheet.

From a blog post where the stylesheets are laid out.

The internet onion is decaying by phases because it has to be, given the basic hand-coding HTML and CSS we are using. We could write a script, but we are lazy, and there won’t be that many more phases of decay than this, Laurel thinks to herself. (Although down the line, Laurel would like to also degrade the content itself and source code, but that will be in Late Decay.)

So this is like the full 90’s web reenactment here.

I hope this continues to be a staple of the Web. The bots can’t keep up with the handmade Web. It’s too small - they can’t even BE that small!


  1. And here’s a snapshot from a few months into its decay. (Notice the barely visible ‘peel’ button in the lower-left corner.) ↩︎

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