After Kurt Eichler, Inke Arns and Dragan Espenschied wished a lot of fun to the first visitors of the Digital Folklore Exhibition, I allowed myself some melancholy:

You will see a lot of bright, animated, loud and funny stuff here. It looks like fun, but it is a sad exhibition. Not because web pages of today are made differently, but because we don’t make them at all. Not so much because the web looks dull, but because it doesn’t have a look at all. It is invisible.

The web disappears together with the browser. Did you notice that it has less and less buttons every month? That its borders are getting thinner every week? Did you notice that since some days you don’t see the names of files in the location bar on your smartphone? Less and less of everything…

It disappears because we don’t design it, don’t build it, we only post into prepared forms.

As a keeper of the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age archive, I’m proud to present what we’ve collected and restored. We show to you many web pages, many pages in the history of the world wide web. But we can’t restore the web.

I’m happy that students worked so enthusiastically with the archive, that their projects look so great, but I know they will not make pages for themselves. They don’t need to.

The web is everywhere, it survived everything, outlasted all competitors, became an unbeatable technology, but is not seen as a medium anymore. A big loss, because the WWW is the best what happened to the Internet and all of us.

One Response to It Looks Like Fun, But it is a Sad Exhibition

  • # James 2016-01-06 23:05

    Great posting! I loved and “got” and understood blingee the first time i started coming across these stranger glittery animated photo collage edits! From regular old folk who didn’t know how or have separate graphics programs and knowledge of photo editing! The girl down the street with five kids and my second cousins and great aunts!

    I still use them to express a certain feeling or get a point across in just that way. They were so tacky they were hip and then there was a backlash? Or maybe it was personal lol. But now they are a thing and they are back and not going anywhere. A moment of self doubt on my part perhaps.

    My tumblr custom theme I built is suppose to envoke: days in the 1990s when DHTML was a thing and people shared graphics like you mentioned as well as all other types of knowledge freely and with goodwill and a sense of community through Blinking page line dividers in hot pink cheetah skin checkerboard pattern transparent gif banner exchange web ring vivo video ratio site glory

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