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Which clippings match 'Www' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 JUNE 2012

Internet Cafés: hybrids involving analogue and digital, virtual and real

"Terms like 'Internet café' or 'cybercafé' bring us right back to the 90s along with phrases like 'web page' or 'digital divide', which were invented to describe new hybrids involving analog and digital, virtual and real as well as the present and near future.

It's not that these terms have grown obsolete. It's rather that these 20th–century phenomena they once described have outgrown their terminology. They were born as metaphors, but over time turned into idioms, and their analog parts were the first [to] lose their original meanings. People who did not witness the emergence of the web do not fully understand why browser content is still called a 'page'. It's has also become unclear what public internet access facilities have in common with cafés, yet we continue calling them 'internet cafés' or 'cybercafés'."

(Olia Lialina, 2012–01–10)




1990s20th century20th century phenomenaanalogue and digitalarchaeology • Bart Plantenga • browser content • cafecafescyber archaeology • cybercafe • cybercafes • cyberculture • Danja Vasiliev • digital archaeologydigital culturedigital divideDragan Espenschiedemergence of the web • Florian Cramer • Goethe Institute • Goethe-Instituthistoryhome pagehybrid formidiomInternetinternet archaeology • internet cafe • internet cafes • inventionJODI (art collective) • Leslie Robbins • metaphor • near future • new cosmopolitanism • new hybrids • obsolescenceOlia Lialina • original meaning • outgrownpage metaphorphenomenaphenomenonPiet Zwart Institute • Piet Zwart Institute Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam University • public internet access • Renee Turner • Rotterdam • Rotterdam University • terminologythe pastvirtual and realwebweb pages • Wendelien van Oldenborgh • Willem de Kooning Academy • www


Simon Perkins
31 OCTOBER 2010

The Internet of the 90's was bright, rich, personal, slow and under construction

"To be blunt [the Internet of the 90's] was bright, rich, personal, slow and under construction. It was a web of sudden connections and personal links. Pages were built on the edge of tomorrow, full of hope for a faster connection and a more powerful computer. One could say it was the web of the indigenous...or the barbarians. In any case, it was a web of amateurs soon to be washed away by ambitions, professional authoring tools and guidelines designed by usability experts.

I wrote that change was coming 'soon' instead of putting an end date at 1998, for example, because there was no sickness, death or burial. The amateur web didn't die and it has not disappeared but it is hidden. Search engine rating mechanisms rank the old amateur pages so low they're almost invisible and institutions don't collect or promote them with the same passion as they pursue net art or web design.

Also new amateur pages don't appear at such amounts as ten years ago because the WWW of today is a developed and highly regulated space. You wouldn't get on the web just to tell the world, 'Welcome to my home page.' The web has diversified, the conditions have changed and there's no need for this sort of old fashioned behaviour. Your CV is posted on the company website or on a job search portal. Your diary will be organised on a blog and your vacation photos are published on iPhoto. There's a community for every hobby and question.

This is why I refer to the amateur web as a thing of the past; aesthetically a very powerful past. Even people who weren't online in the last century, people who look no further than the first 10 search engine results can see the signs and symbols of the early web thanks to the numerous parodies and collections organised by usability experts who use the early elements and styles as negative examples."

(Olia Lialina, February 2005)

Fig.1 Cyndi Howells. 'Cyndi's Genealogy Home Page Construction Kit'



1990s2005ad-hocaestheticsamateur • amateur pages • animated gifauthoring toolbox modeldesign for the screendesign formalismdesign historydigital culture • • experthistoryhome pageInternetmasterymedia artMIDInet artnew mediaOlia Lialinaparticipationpastiche • personal links • regulated space • regulationtransformationunder constructionusability • usability experts • usability guidelines • vernacularvisual communicationvisual designvisual languagevisual literacywebweb designweb vernacularwww


Simon Perkins

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