Bookmarked FROM MY TO ME (INTERFACECRITIQUE)

Don’t see making your own web page as a nostalgia, don’t participate in creating the netstalgia trend. What you make is a statement, an act of emancipation. You make it to continue a 25-year-old tradition of liberation.

To understand the history of the Web and the role of its users, it is important to acknowledge that people who built their homes, houses, cottages, places, realms, crypts, lairs, worlds, dimensions [Fig.1–13] were challenging the architecture and the protocols, protocols in a figurative not technical meaning. Users hijacked the first home page of the browser and developed this concept in another direction.6 A user building, moving in, taking control over a territory was never a plan. It was a subversive practice, even in 1995.

In an extract from “Turing Complete User. Resisting Alienation in Human-Computer-Interaction”, Olia Lialina traces a history of the people who challenged the architecture and protocols in the development of the web. He explains how this has evolved to web focused on graphic design.

There is no web design and web designers any more, there are graphic designers and developers again, front-end and back-end developers this time. For me as a net artist and new media design educator, this splitting of web designer into graphic designer and front-end developer is bitter, because it is the death of a very meaningful profession.

Lialina closes with a call to reclaim the web:

Don’t collaborate! Don’t post your texts where you are not allowed to turn it into hypertext.

Don’t post your pictures where you can’t link them to whatever you like. Don’t use content management systems that turn your GIFs into JPEGs. Don’t use hashtags, don’t accept algorithmic timelines. In short, make a web page and link to others who still have one.

Leaving monopolists and/or using alternatives is easy to suggest. And many of us made the first step – for example, created a page on neocities.org or on tilde.club, or even bought a superglue.it kit and hosted their home page at their actual home, supporting the Reclaim hosting initiative.

This reminds me of other histories of the web, such as Parimal Satyal’s small web, Eevee’s dive into the world of CSSCharlie Owen’s call to return to the beauty and weirdness found in the early web and Kicks Condor’s discussion of what we left in the old web.

“Reverend” in Known Issues with the Web Garden | bavatuesdays ()