What the Hell Is WWWWWWWWW.XYZ?

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As strange corners of the internet go, this one’s pretty satisfying.

The browser-based video jockeying toy WWWWWWWWWWWWW.XYZ invites users to flip through themes and tempos of YouTube videos in a seemingly infinite cycle.

John Soat, Eric Rieper, and Ross McCampbell—together making up the group Point Passing—launched the cryptic web toy on April 3 with little fanfare. I stumbled across it through the Prosthetic Knowledge blog. The trailer for it, which is equally vague and mildly surreal, has fewer than 400 views.

I asked the creators over email about their new toy. They said it’s a VJ performance tool with as many options for videos as there are uploads to YouTube. One can cycle through their pre-selected themes (“Destruction” shows nuclear explosions and slow-mo television smashing, while “Slop” is exactly what it sounds like: videos of viscous mystery material) or add your own URLs.

They wanted “the entire system to feel enigmatic and foreign, as if it were translated from another language and dropped in the lap of a confused recipient,” but they’re hoping it gets used by people futzing around on their keyboard alone, to house party backdrops, or even professional VJs at clubs.

It’s meant to emphasize the “strange, ugly, personal, beautiful, absurd” of YouTube, they said. “We tried tapping into what it felt like to swap VHS tapes of found footage or B-movies, the discovery and mystery of that. Also, this thing is just fun as hell to play at parties.”

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