Contents
Introduction
Chapter 1:
Internet Art
Chapter 2:
Institutions
Chapter 3:
Digital Weakness
Conclusion
Table of Figures
Footnotes
Bibliography
Glossary
James Hayes' art website


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Another interesting aspect of Internet art is the ability for continual change and evolution in a work. Nothing remains static on the Internet, and the same holds true for artwork displayed in this medium. Art websites are updated with new work, images or an extension of existing pages, allowing the work to grow almost organically. Sometimes this is indicative of a work-in-progress mentality, but usually it is an accepted aspect of the work, that it will not be the same next time the site is visited.

The second website, Superbad by Ben Benjamin16 (see Figure 3 and Figure 4) is an example of some of the initially more annoying aspects of abstract Internet art and is a great example of a continually changing Internet artwork. This website is an endless maze of pages, linked together via graphics which give little or no suggestion as to what's coming next, the whole fitting together as a decorative, abstract look at technology, sexuality and politics. Each page contains various graphic elements, some animated, the rare page contains fictional or nonsensical text, and some are driven by complex JavaScript. All contain multiple links to following pages. Benjamin says of the website, in an interview with Eryk Salvaggio for Rhizome.org:

In the beginning, Superbad started out doing a lot of parody, and what was on the web at that time were a lot of personal sites. Since then, the web has become more about commerce. So over time, both of those things have been parodied.At first I didn't want to call it art because I thought it would be more fun for people to be surprised by it and I wanted to leave it open to different interpretations. I like it when people think of it as a site for kids or a site showcasing "experimental fiction" or whatever.17

Figure 3 Ben Benjamin's Superbad website, http://www.superbad.com, December 2001

Benjamin is using images as language, in an entertaining (and some critics might say trivial) fashion, which lampoons the concepts of graphic design and advertising, as well as subverting the inherent logic of hyper-links. Hyper-links by their nature are designed to allow information to interconnect, bringing the user from document to document as they follow their own trail of investigation. Benjamin's use of hyper-links negates this possibility within a maze of images and text. Visitors could spend all day surfing the site and still not have explored all its nooks and crannies.

Figure 4 Ben Benjamin's Superbad website, http://www.superbad.com, December 2001

by James Hayes
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