The starting point for this zine was the question: what communities do I belong to?
Then the question turned into: When is something a community? And also: Why do I not participate in communities? I’m usually the one lurking. However I feel part of the community. YouTube feels and looks like a community but it really isn’t, because there is little interaction. The comment section is not built to have conversations, it’s built to leave behind opinions, either isolated or as a response to somebody else’s opinion. I still feel like I'm part of some YouTube communities regardless of not participating in the comments, because as I watch more of one person’s videos it feels as if I am getting to know them and creating a bond with them. This of course is just an illusion.
Comments on different kinds of youtube channels are very different. On ASMR they tend to be very supportive and calming. On music videos it can range from how much the artist means to them to memes referring to specific timestamps in the video. So this does show that different ‘kinds’ of people unite on different channels, sort of as a community, but without ever actually uniting with each other.
My zine is about random, unexpected run-ins I have had with fellow lurkers or community-participants online. It was also born out of a fascination for how easily and quickly online conversations can turn personal, and how they can go as quickly as they came. Sometimes people will delete their account or just never respond to you again. I am turning some of these conversations I have had online into audio files. With my own voice I tell my side of the conversation, and either an electronic voice or a human voice (I haven't decided yet) reads out the other person’s messages.
In this first conversation I took all the messages that show appreciation for one another, and sound like we have know each other for a long time. The full conversation happened within the first day of meeting each other.
I ended up not finishing this zine. I think this was because I had so many perspectives that i tried to fit into one audio work, and I lost track or the full picture.