Below is an abstract of the presentation I’ll be giving at
Emory Unviersity as part of the Domain Incubator event this Friday (Valentine’s Day!) Baruch College at the end of March. I came up with it a couple of week’s ago inspired by this presentation delivered by Bruce Sterling at the transmediale conference on January 29th. I already blogged about this presentation, but it got me thinking my talks about University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own project thus far have been primarily focused on the history of this project at UMW—the localized evolution of the idea.
I’m hoping this presentation will help me contextualize Domain of One’s Own within the broader history of the web. To accomplish this I’m going to be focusing on a specific web hosting community site of the early web: the now defunct Geocities. This is inspired by the art project “One Terabyte in the Kilobyte Age” which has archived a terrabyte of data from this discarded online datapolis. The images of these long forgotten ghost sites are remarkable, and speak volumes to the questions of how the web has changed? -who we are on the web over time? Not to mention it starts to underscore the fact that the web is an historical world that will itself have epochs. Virtual cities will rise and fall, and people will come and go. Who are we on the web in our moment, and how much of it is ours?
Below is the abstract I submitted to Luke Waltzer earlier this week. In addition to researching Geocities, I’m going to spend as much time as possible over the next month following up on a series of resources folks from all over North America shared with me about the evolution of personal web spaces on university servers during the 1990s. I’ll be blogging on this theme pretty consistently over the next four weeks, so consider yourself warned.
Domains in the Afterglow Or, What Can We Learn from Geocities about Digital Identity
The motto of the recent 2014 media art conference transmedial was “afterglow” which, according to the organizers, “symbolises the current state of digital culture – somewhere between trash and treasure, between high-tech brilliance and electronic junk – a culture of big-data firms and surveillance systems, where the digital revolution of yesterday has yielded media technologies that are rapidly consumed and discarded.” This talk will examine the state of the afterglow through the lens of an ongoing digital art project, One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age, that focuses on the web’s first major build-your-own-site community hub: the now defunct Geocities. What can internet kipple from twenty years ago tell us about the current state of publishing, community, and identity on the web? What’s more, how can it convince you to reclaim your domain?