A terrible virus finally brings down the internet, and humans look out from the wreckage in the aftermath. Five weigh in with personal recollections: pensive, disbelieving, grieving, philosophical. We used to have movie stars and famous musicians. Now we had each other.

With star turns from Shannon Cochrane, Louise Lilifeldt, Johanna Householder, Emily Vey Duke and more. Texts: Paul Lisicky, Frances Leviston, Jakob Kirkegaard, Nicole Krauss, Olivia Laing.

We were dying and bored, the old world had passed while the new one winked through the haze. In this moment of mass addiction, the algorithm revolution nearly complete, the oligarchs astride it all, what would happen if neoliberal’s fave new toy, the internet – the surveillance society turned into a domestic cash machine and distraction organ – went on strike, had a holiday, crashed for good?

I watched my friends get pulled into the capitalist maw, chasing better neighbourhoods for their kids and the steady flow of shit that kept us from feeling anything at all. Then we turned on, plugged in, dropped out. A restless dread filled our news feeds, an immanent sense that we were ending, or that the world we had known was ending, kept us watching. Voyeurs of our own car crash. But what if the internet stopped one morning as suddenly as it began? What if we were returned for a moment to our own neighbourhoods, our own skin, our own faces? Could we rejig the art of conversation, the close-up, find a level place to admit the best and worst of all?