Penn Week 3 – Internet Art Discussion, HTML Review

I’ll never forget when the first graphic interface for the internet was developed (Mosaic). Everyone who saw it got excited and knew that it would change everything. It was the best possible development. The text based interfaces, like the one Echo uses, are just too hard. A graphic interface meant more people could get online. And, you can interact and create in more and more ways. 

Stacy Horn, founder of Echo. Full interview here

Mosaic, (later renamed Netscape) launched in April 1993. It was the first web browser with a graphical interface. This marked a shift in internet culture because you could now point and click and easily understand how to navigate the world wide web.

Prior to this, you had to use esoteric commands and type commands.

This is the line mode browser, a precursor to Mosaic.

During this pre-visual web, many text based communities formed.

I’ll show you a demo of logging on to a text based network that still exists called Echo.


Nettime Mailing List Manifesto (1995)

As computer and web interfaces became graphic, it started to inform visual languages and net artists’ work., Dirk Paesmans & Joan Heemskerk

“The computer is a device to get into someone’s mind. We put our own personality there.”  

JODI, Dirk Paesmans & Joan Heemskerk from the description card at the MOMA

Desktop Is, Alexei Shulgin (1998)

Form Art, Alexei Shulgin (1997)

Riot (1999) – Mark Napier

More info on this project here

The King of the Internet (2018) – Mark Napier

3. Gallery of US Descramblers (2000) – David S. Touretzky