this zine is a nostalgic celebration of being emo in the noughties
‘appear offline’ will make you relive the cringe glory of being 13 all over again.
Like MSN and spending hours choosing which Panic! At The Disco song to play on your MySpace profile, ‘appearing offline’ is a relic of a bygone era, and that’s exactly what Marianne Eloise is celebrating with appear offline, the second issue of her zine, emo diary.
A celebration of an awkward and excellently-soundtracked adolescence, emo diary is a collection of extracts from Marianne’s own diary, alongside photos, MySpace and MSN screenshots, gig tickets and other ephemera from the mid-2000s. The most recent issue, appear offline, looks at all the ways emo culture and the internet interacted in the odd era that was the noughties. It was the tipping point of the internet consuming our day to day lives, a golden time where we still had one foot in the digital world and the other IRL.
“I copied down my online life in my diary as it still felt special and ephemeral”, Marianne tells i-D. “I listened to CDs while experimenting with Limewire. I wrote my friends letters but spoke to them on MSN every night.” It’s a snapshot to a simpler, long forgotten pre-teen era, but one that nostalgic twenty somethings are all too eager to return to within the pages of emo diary. “We are literally just never not communicating online now”, says Marianne. “We’re in literal constant communication with people, permanently working and taking in new information, and while it’s positive in many ways it’s also exhausting. I’m nostalgic for a time when communicating online wasn’t only fun but creative, when we had time to make websites and content that was just for us.”
appear offline is an extension of the original emo diary zine, which Marianne refers to as a “best of” nostalgic noughties ephemera. “For the first issue I picked the things which would drum up the most nostalgia for people and hopefully make them laugh”, she says. “For the second I wanted to refine my focus to the thing that I love the most -- the internet. Pretty much every day I wrote down everything I’d done online that day; conversations I’d had, websites I’d built. The internet was still exciting and I wanted to record every second I spent online in case it somehow disappeared.”
For one generation the noughties was an era dominated by emo music. “Emo and ‘online’ are very much intertwined”, explains Marianne. “And I wanted to explore that.” The mid-2000s were the peak of emo, a time when your deep, dark, MSN quote was invariably a profound lyric from one of the bands -- My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Good Charlotte, Taking Back Sunday, the list goes on -- who dominated the music scene, your personal CD player which contained nothing but Napster rips, and your life.
The internet brought emo into the lives of thousands of moody, mopey teens in the mid noughties, and it’s the same method which has brought ‘back’ emo to an extent in 2018. “Even though we all decided emo was embarrassing, the internet has kept it floating around”, Marianne tells i-D. “It’s made it possible for us not only to dig up our own pasts and rediscover our love of it, but for new kids to rediscover this shameful era in our history and enjoy it for themselves. We’ve definitely seen an emo renaissance in the past few years and we’ve started to be less embarrassed by this thing that’s silly and melodramatic but that some of us truly love and feel a part of.”
The new issue of emo diary, a collaboration between Marianne and photographer Teän Roberts, will launch with an exhibition at The Chopping Block, Peckham Springs. Opening 12th July, the three day exhibition is an extension of emo diary’s nostalgia; it’s a 2006 bedroom brought to life for a grown up sleepover, a place where you can hang out, buy pins and zines, see prints and original emo diary artwork, and cry to Fall Out Boy. “It’s a recreation of my teen bedroom”, Marianne tells i-D. “So a bed, posters, old clothes, a computer and a ton of other surprises. It’s gonna be really cute; just like the zine, a mix of emo and girly colours.”
As well as launching the new issue and exhibition, today marks the launch of Marianne’s campaign to publish an emo diary book through Unbound. Containing essays, diary entries, photos, screenshots and all the other bits and bobs that encapsulate an era we all lived through, the campaign allows people to pledge certain amounts to pre-order and help make the book happen, not unlike a crowdfunder. “It’ll be beautifully designed and a nice thing to own, hopefully”, says Marianne.
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This article originally appeared on i-D UK.