An Anarchist Tract for Distributing Web Art

I initially became aware of MySpace when I discovered, after checking my web server statistics, that, unbeknownst to me, an animation I had created for Illumination Gallery was reposted in the comments section of a MySpace profile page. Such appropriation of material comes with the turf on the web. Actually, it helps bring into focus how the web completely transformed the Internet, which was originally conceived as a medium for electronically sharing information across the globe. The web layered two innovations on the Internet: clickable URLs and graphical browsers. Clickable URLs made the web infinitely easy to navigate, while graphical browsers spawned the richly textured visual environment the web has evolved into. The two people most responsible for the development and evolution of the web were Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen. Click here to read Tim Berners-Lee's brief personal history of the web and here to see the proposal he wrote for developing the web. Click here to read about Mosaic, the first popular graphical browser co-authored by Marc Andreessen.

Note that I capitalize the "I" in Internet and not the "w" in web. The Internet is the elaborate electronic cocoon containing the web, which, by its composition, exponentially loosens technical restraints, thus offsetting political/economic control. The spirit of anarchy reigns. I capitalize "Internet" because the Internet is vast, extremely expensive, way beyond the means of ordinary people to put in place. I write "web" in lowercase because the web is cheap, readily affordable. Censorship exists only on the barest level (yes, the authorities will attempt to track down child molesters and terrorists). One purchases a domain name and space on the web for a nominal fee. Then one has to either buy prefab web design software or learn HTML. I am a strong proponent of learning HTML. Prefab web design software dictates structure rather than allowing it to manifest. The web has a unique internal structure we must learn to respect. So feel free to repost animations and still images from Illumination Gallery or my MySpace page. The very ease with which online animations and still images can be reposted via HTML code demands a total rethinking of the distribution of art in the digital age.

If you wish to repost the animation running above here is the requisite HTML code:

<img src="">

Simply cut and paste the code into the HTML fabric of the page where you want the animation to appear. To obtain the HTML code for reposting other animations or still images from Illumination Gallery or my MySpace page, just contact me either via Illumination Gallery or MySpace.

© 2007 Peter Schmideg

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