Read thoughts, ramblings and critical pieces about the place we all know and love, The Internet! You can also learn more about the guest hosts and content featured in each recording here! 

Lea and the Internet is also looking for thoughful and interesting writing about our online lives. Want to contribute a piece? 
Submit here!

Bibliography: Episode 10

Episode Ten: Reality = Virtual
Guest Host: Nicole Killian
Date aired: January 13th, 2016

Atlantis- Azealia Banks

Atlantis- Azealia Banks

The virtual is real: Maybe a decade ago we could talk about an online and offline life, or virtual vs. real but that line has become blurred to completely erased:




Guest 10: Nicole Killian

Created using  My Nerf Rebel Avatar

Created using My Nerf Rebel Avatar

Episode 10: The Virtual is Real 
Airing: January, 13th 2016

Nicole was born the year the first cd player was sold in Japan. Her work investigates how the structures of the internet, mobile messaging, and shared online platforms effect contemporary interaction and shape cultural identity from a queer, feminist perspective.

She has lectured at Royal College of Art (London), North Carolina State University, ATypi Dublin, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, Maryland Institute College of the Arts, Pratt Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Minneapolis College of Art + Design and the American Comparative Literature Association where she presented ongoing research, ☾ Sailor Moon☆Glitter Text+Graphic Design ✔.

Her writing is published in the third edition of Terry Barrett’s Criticizing Art and she frequently contributes to online quarterly WOW HUH. Last spring her essay "The Aesthetics of Index" was included in Issue 2 of The Enemy. Her current essay, "The Emotional Potential of Girls Presented on the Internet as Object" will be published by Penny-ante Editions in the book Modern Behaviours for Fall 2016. She is currently working on a new essay, "The Transgressive Girl" for the Journal of Feminist Scholarship to be published in 2017.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology, finishing at the Bauhaus in Dessau Germany and a Master of Fine Arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  She is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, studying and making work around "girls that run in packs."

Check out her website and you can find her on twitter @saucyunicorn.

Bibliography: Episode 8

Episode Eight: Storytelling, Imagination and Accountability 
Guest Host: Mimi Nguyen
Date aired: December 16th, 2015

Storytelling: The way we consume information is permanently altered and so is the way we tell stories. 

Imagination: Is the imagination more constricted with the accessibility to information or exploding with new possibilities.

Accountability: The Internet was once a place of anonymity. Now it is easy for friends and family to trace back and reflect on everything anyone posts or say. How has that changed the way we communicate thoughts and opinions.

Guest 8: Mimi Nguyen

created with  Wild Conservatory Society  avatar builder

created with Wild Conservatory Society avatar builder

Episode 8: Storytelling, Imagination and Accountability   
Airing: December 16th, 2015

Mimi was a Lyft driver for two weeks before she realized her bladder was too small for the job. She remembers the first time she “drew” genitalia on AOL instant messenger. Now, she only wants to communicate via taco and unicorn Emojis. A few years ago, Mimi wrote essays about online Asian pornography and her most recurring thought was, “Nobody knows what to do with awkward hands.” Feel free to start an Emoji conversation with Mimi on Twitter @Mimi_Dumpling.

Bibliography: Episode 7

Episode Seven: Masculinity, Privilege, Artists And Capitalism.
Guest Host: Nick Wylie
Date aired: December 2nd, 2015

Privilege: Is there a better collective understanding of what privilege is and who has privilege because of the Internet or are we just as confused as ever?

Art, Capitalism and the Internet: How has the internet impacted art’s influence on capitalism and how do (or don't) artists impact this system:

Guest 7: Nick Wylie

                     Created using

                    Created using

Episode 7: Masculinity, Privilege, Art and Capitalism   
Airing: December 2nd, 2015

Nicholas Wylie is a queer Chicagoan transplant to the Bay Area by his newly husbanded nerdy love Todd King, who recently designed some rainbow Doritos that got Mike Huckabee and some of the internet mad at him. In the shadow of those accomplishments, Nick organizes for and with artists, and sometimes calls himself one. He's currently working at a 40 year old arts organization with anarchic origins and nonprofit chops called Southern Exposure. Wylie has also helped to found artist residencies ACRE and Harold Arts back in the midwest. He has talked at students at SAIC, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of St. Francis. The internet has come out for him at several key moments in his life, and he now mostly hides from it. Except for all the pirating and constant use of it. Podcasts are better than music.

Bibliography: Episode 6

Episode Six: Friendships, Dating and Curation
Guest Host: Emily Eaton
Date aired: November 18th, 2015

Friendships: Staying connected to our friends is easier than ever before with social media tools, but has the quality of those relationships changed with constant exposure?

Inside Emily Eaton's Tumblr World

WARNING! You about to have the most unproductive work day of your career because of all the time you are going to spend on Tumblr. 
Guest #6 Emily Eaton is a social media champion. Turns out she is also a Tumblr maniac. From pop culture commentary to instant snapchat breakups, she has created a Tumblr for everyone! Here is a short list of some of her bangin' blogs. Also if you haven't already go listen to her episode!

 If you are lacking images of Kanye West or Beyonce you should have started following this blog yesterday. The EREYAYOUKNOW me Tumblr is like the fine wine of pop culture internet images. You also get sneak peaks into Emily's life, so that is an added bounce!

If you have an insatiable love of llamas and also want to see some amazing llama illustrations by Emily you can't miss her Llama Funland Blog. Apparently there is a large community of llama lovers online, and their devotion is captured here.

Here is why Emily is so great, she saw a lack of North West dedicated blogs online and took immediate action. This blog both celebrates this baby genius while also providing a tasteful commentary on celebrities lives. 


Breaking up with people is tough, but Snapchat makes it waaaaay easier. Take some tips on how to dump bae from this informative and insightful tumblr that Emily and Liz Apple co-created.

Emily and Liz also create and curate a tumblr dedicated to filling a clear backpack with stuff. The pictures are amazing and will test your limits about what can and should be placed inside of a backpack.

If you are looking for male love on Tinder you have come across this dude, the fish dude. For some reason men love letting people know they can catch a fish. Love seeing the fish dude? Here is a whole blog dedicated to them!

Make sure to check out all these tumblrs and for an added amount of fun and excitement make sure to follow Emily's instagram! 

Guest 6: Emily Eaton

                     Created with  Marvel's Create Your Own Super Hero

                     Created with Marvel's Create Your Own Super Hero

Episode 6: Friends, Dating and Curation
Airing: November 18th, 2015

Emily Eaton lives in Minneapolis. She is a Project Manager at Periscope where she has helped developed social media campaigns that you can sometimes find on Snapchat. Aside from her day job she is also a model for Hackwith Design and runs about 70 tumblr accounts. She is known around the Twin Cities for her impeciable twerking ability. 


Bibliography: Episode 5

Episode Five: Mhhh Food
Guest Host: Matty Tucker
Date aired: November 4th, 2015

Food: It has been around forever, but has our relationship with it changed with the advent of the Internet?

Diet: Because of social media and the Internet, food is visibly intertwined with class and status. Now that eating is a global and communal experience, our sense of diet is warped.

Service: There is more visibility to the lives of people working in the service industry, but has the Internet helped or hindered food servers and establishments?



Guest 5: Matty Tucker

                                        Created with South Park Avatar Creator

                                        Created with South Park Avatar Creator

Matty Tucker lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His interest in writing led to cooking to pay the bills, but writing took a backseat when he became obsessed with all things food. He recently decided to combine his interests, launching his blog, Burger Fetish, a cheeky but thoroughly culinary look at burgers. He spends his time thinking about the relationship between cooking traditions and science, the effect of the twentieth century on both food culture and health, and whether tacos are sandwiches. Find him at, on Twitter at @BurgerFetish, Instagram at @BurgerFetish, and on Facebook at

Bibliography: Episode 4

Episode Four: Life Events: Parenting, Birthdays, Weddings & Death
Guest Host: Sean Aquino
Date aired: October 21st, 2015

Parenting: Historically a new parent relied on a nuclear community to learn how to raise a child. Parents now have the ability to chose their communities and research endless amounts of information. How has parenting changed?

                                            Courtesy of Gify

                                            Courtesy of Gify

Rights of Passage: All of our most important milestones happen through our social media profiles. Some of our most intimate moments are shared with entire networks of people and span far beyond immediate family. Does the visibility enhance or diminish all of these special moments?

Death: Our bodies might be gone, but our legacies live on forever.

Guest 4: Sean Aquino

Created using the  Scott Pilgrim avatar builder

Episode 4: Life Events
Airing: October 21st, 2015

Sean Aquino is a User Experience Strategist at Bunchball. He designs gamification programs, applying game mechanics and elements to solve enterprise sized challenges for customers such as Verizon, Fidelity and Marriott. A former creative producer, he worked with the startups and non-profits being incubated by the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Sean has a background in performance and television: he produced segments for a weekly science and technology show on WTTWChicago, volunteered as the web director for the Asian-American focused magazine Hyphen and was the president and a dancer for Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a sixty-member company specializing in the performing arts of Bali. He and his wife Shawn (yes Sean & Shawn) founded Fine Leatherworking and is working on a dad blog.

Forget Me Not: The Significance of Internet Memes

By: Lea Devon Sorrentino

How well do you remember February 26th, 2015? Does the date ring a bell? Feel important for some reason?

Let me refresh your memory. On that day a black llama and white llama escaped in Arizona while being transported to an assisted living facility (to comfort a man who used to be a llama farmer, no joke). 

Millions of internet onlookers watched live streams of the two renegades exploits for hours. They dominated news channels, internet sites and social media timelines. Buzzfeed quizzes emerged to assist audience members in clearing defining which llama (black or white) they identified with the most. The American public took a deep look into those llamas eyes, and saw a reflection of themselves staring back. 

This isn’t the first time that the Internet has become engulfed with a viral piece of content that seems ludicrous or kitschy. It certainly wasn’t the last. Most recently (and in Internet time, not that recent) a pizza carrying rat roaming the New York City subway system caught the same kind of national attention (and reverence) as the llamas. But this time the caption was much more transparent, 
Pizza Rat is All of Us

The enthusiastic rat reminded us of our own triumphant moments of acquiring and scarfing down pizza. All of us identified times in our lives when we received a prize, a good meal or a satisfying moment provided by an extrinsic reward. Of course a collective applaud was warranted for watching such a little guy get a big “win”. 

But what if those are not the reason Pizza Rat is “all of us”? Let’s examine the Pizza Rat meme in more detail. Yes, Pizza Rat was able to experience an abundance of wealth, BUT only when someone larger and more powerful bestowed it on him. Once having the pizza, the rat struggled in front of so many people, possibly fearing that what he loves so much could be taken away at any moment. Finally, what temporarily fulfilled Pizza Rat’s wildest dreams was nothing substantial. We all knew he could never live off of that slice of pizza and we knew it wasn’t good for him. What if the real reason we are pizza rat is not because he is successful but because he is a failure? Here is this small creature trying to navigate a confusing world, filled with unaware strangers, trying to manage an overwhelming burden. Those feelings are all too familiar for many Americans. What if that fear of failure is the real reason Pizza Rat is popular? 


Often Internet memes are dismissed by intellectuals and are overly criticized for being vacant. Many argue that they contribute to a more distracted, fractured and bored audience. It is hard to rationalize a boredom so vast that it could be the driving factor for memes continuous popularity. Instead of distracting us from more important imagery, maybe memes are allowing us to collectively share empathy? The common criticisms of these online images has not deterred anyone, seeing as meme popularity has maximized each year. Since there is no impending doom awaiting memes, there must be something more substantial about then that demands examination.

In the article A Defense of Form: Internet Memes and Confucian Ritual, Nicolas Brown analyzes memes and highlights the definition of how humans achieve a state of ren. Within the text he states, “If the truest nature of humanity is the social aspect of experience, then personhood in the highest sense—to live based on an attunement to intersubjectivity, or in a state of ren—is only achieved when a social awareness is integrated seamlessly into one’s activity without the need for abstract reasoning or forced attention”. Brown highlights that ren, a virtuous and harmonious human existence, can be achieved if collectively humans can communicate with consensual interest and without abstraction.  If you break down the components to what makes a successful meme, at their core it's the seamless depiction of social understanding and the promotion of clear discourse through accessible imagery. Brown argues that our fascination and participation with memes goes far beyond boredom or simplicity, but is driven by the fundamental experience of sharing core emotions with our communities.

Memes like Pizza Rat and the llamas on the Run might seem ridiculous to fetishize over, but their immediate accessibility and underlying messages makes them substantive. To be successful an Internet meme must be immediately understood. It needs community interaction and participation to grow. Memes must generate an emotional response from its viewers to gain momentum and popularity. It must become an online experience. To assume that an audience is only obsessed or infatuated with the trivial messages presented within the images is to assume a shallowness inherent in the viewers. That seems bleak even for artists.

By not acknowledging and legitimizing memes as a valid form of communication, is to essentially dismiss most online communities. It is dangerous to decide that a meme's popularity is driven by trivial emotions and boredom.  Without providing a serious discourse about the impact of memes on society, artists and critics are deciding to not assist in providing clarity to what emotionally drives many online experiences.

So let's not disregard the importance of Internet memes and let’s never forget February 26th, 2015 again.

Bibliography: Episode Three

Episode Three: Representation, Perception and Class
Guest Host: Candace Roberts
Date aired: October 7th, 2015

Who represents you?: The Internet has given a voice to many different communities, but does that equate to better representation?

Courtesy of  

Courtesy of 

  • Viola Davis' speech:

  • Gay marriage will never set us free:

Perception in the Eye of the Content Holder: Almost everyone has the ability to be a content contributor, shaping and shifting our perception of reality.

                                  Courtesy of

                                  Courtesy of

Class Systems since the Cloud: How has the Internet impacted the way class is understood and conveyed?: 

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Courtesy of

To listen to episode 3 with guest host Candace Roberts go here


Guest 3: Candace Roberts

Created on  Great Gatsby Avatar Builder , 2013

Episode 3: Representation, Perception & Class
Aired: October 7th, 2015

Candace Roberts is a San Francisco based singer/songwriter, filmmaker and cabaret artist. In 2015 she released “Take Back Your Beaver”, a comic feminist short film about reclaiming pubic hair and our bodies. “Take Back Your Beaver” followed the success of 2014’s much-lauded and much-critiqued short film “Not My City Anymore”, about gentrification and the tech industry in San Francisco. In 2010 Candace released her album “Honeymoon for One”, in which she asks herself to marry herself, and she’s been playing to full houses ever since, most notably the Fillmore, Cafe du Nord, the Lost Church, and the Make-Out Room. She also rocks the house concert circuit and had a three year residency at Martuni’s Piano Bar. Candace’s cabaret shows, often deemed “brave”, are chock-full of original songs and American songbook covers and they deliver big on social commentary and confessional story-telling, covering wide-ranging topics such as: sex, self-worth, cellulite, pubic hair, consumerism, gentrification, immigration, racism and more. Candace’s truth-telling extends to her filmmaking, which has also developed a distinct visual style, drawing heavily on nostalgia, saturated color palettes, over-the-top production numbers and casts of thousands.

Bibliography: Episode Two

Episode Two: Fandom, Body Image & Female Equality
Guest Host: Georgie Gibbs
Date aired: Sept 23rd, 2015

The Evolution of Fandom: Has social media made our relationships with celebrities more personal?  

Buzzfeed & Body Positivity: The Internet is challenging former beauty standards. A majority of the content online is user generated, helping dismantle body shamming, or so it seems:

                                                                                             Courtesy of Instagram

                                                                                             Courtesy of Instagram

omen's Equality: There have been many social causes that have benefited from the Internet's visibility, why not women's equality?

                                       Courtesy of 

                                       Courtesy of 

GUEST 2: Georgie Gibbs

Created on  Avachar

Created on Avachar

Episode 2: Fandom, Body Positivity and Women's Equality 
Aired: September 23rd, 2015

Georgie is a school librarian with the best shush in the business.  Her first internet spiral was appropriately at the public library and started with a visit to Shania Twain's fan website.  It prompted a love that would last a lifetime, for both Shania and the Internet. Georgie spends a lot of time thinking about the Real Housewives franchise, teacher's pay, her future Jeopardy anecdote, and whether she'd rather be a Hawn-Russell or a Beckham.  Hit her up for book recommendations or thoughtful discussion regarding One Direction on Twitter @georgie_ann or Instagram @georgiegirl84.

Bibliography: Episode One

Episode One: Morality, Conflict And Social Politics
Guest Host: Harold Burnett
Date aired: Sept 11th, 2015

The Transparency of Morality 
The Internet leaves no stone unturned. We are moving into a world of ultra surveillance. Once an anonymous landscape, the internet is now a place of ultra visibility to the secret lives of everyone we think we know and love...

                  Courtesy of National Inquirer 

                  Courtesy of National Inquirer 

Conflict on the Internet
The media has always conveyed celebrity, diplomat, human strife but the Internet provides a personal view of human aggression. Does active audience participation change the way society engages in conflict?

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Politics and Social Media
How many people have you unfollowed on Facebook this political season? Has the internet made way for 3rd party views? Is the political atmosphere more transparent? Do we just want to mash our cats and our future presidents?

                  Courtesy of @Trumpyourcat

                  Courtesy of @Trumpyourcat