- Installation: Webwaste
- Concept + Design: Ragnar Helgi Olafsson
- Development: Ragnar Helgi Olafsson & Douglas Edric Stanley
- Exhibition: Digit@rts, Villette Numérique
- Production: Atelier Hypermedia, 2001-2002
- Location: Cité des science et de l’industrie, Parc de la Villette, Paris
- Date: 24-29 September, 2002
- Website: [http://www.webwaste.net]()
WEBWASTE: A UNIVERSAL RUBBISH DUMP
Shouldn’t people be able to throw away their electronic-trash in a similar way to how they take out their normal waste? Instead of erasing their trashed documents forever by emptying the Recycle bin of their computer, Internet-users can now dump the content of their trash-bin in the immense collective depot of WebWaste.
AN ON-LINE TRASH-CAN: WebWaste is a real universal, on-line rubbish dump; a collective yet anonymous dustbin, open to all Internet users. You can look through what other people have thrown away, add your own waste and take stuff home. It is an open public space. Anyone can enter; everyone can participate and thereby leave a sort of «footprint» in cyber-space.
BROWSE THROUGH WASTE: On WebWaste.net you can browse through waste such as images, texts, audio- and video clips which participants before you have thrown away.
EMPTY YOU TRASH CAN: By downloading the Dustman-application you can empty the content of your own Recycle Bin onto the WebWaste. Your files are uploaded to the WebWaste server and promptly disappear from your computer. WebWaste accommodates most of what can be found in an ordinary computer’s recycle-bin.
TAKE STUFF HOME: If, while strolling through the wasteland, you come across an image or a file that you like you can of course «take it home» with you, by downloading it onto your own computer.
FEED THE RATS: Like any other waste-dump WebWaste is home to rats. These algorithmic rodents that trek through the waste are data-parasites. They eat pixels from images, words from textdocuments and, after digesting them, dump them onto other images or files seeing to the breakdown and decomposition of the things on the WebWaste over time. The rats breed, multiply and if people stop throwing things away they die of starvation. While the WebWaste itself is accessible from any computer the rats «live» in a specific location on a specific, constantly running computer connected to the server which houses the website. From this «cage» (at the moment stored in Marseille, France) the rats feed of the files of the WebWaste.
WHY? The Internet is increasingly becoming a type of «window-shopping–experience» where people browse trough static «advertisements». It is up to us to see to it that the Internet reflects not only «intended remarks» and «finished products». It may be argued that the things we throw away reflect a truer picture of ourselves than the things we keep, let alone the things we «publish».
PLAYFUL PUBLIC SPACE: WebWaste is a playful public space. A place where the Internet-user ceases to be an invisible spectator, shares his junk and thereby leaves a personal trace that he or she passed by. The Internet-user can in this way leave a «footprint» on the web. Built into WebWaste is a social dimension: An idea of a collective-page, a sort of anti-page, or infinite page, that endlessly grows and shrinks (depending on the growth of the rat population and online human investment).It is designed as a utopic or «possible space» of collective visualization beyond the world of the chat and published web «pages».
NON-INTENTIONAL CREATIVITY: WebWasters know that when archaeologists unearth ancient monuments they are delighted, but when they put their hands on an old rubbish dump they become euphoric. In this context WebWaste plays on our obsession with storing and stocking
- with the concept of archiving - which modern technology has brought to a new level of intensity. WebWaste is uncensored and anonymous and thus open to things «authentic» as well as «fake». It is a community of passers-by, an archive and a collective image of its users. WebWasters find inspiration in things that are mistakes, have been used up or are useless - celebrating the non-intentional and creativity of misunderstanding..
[www. webwaste.net //]() Ragnar Helgi Olafsson //
- VIEWING & USEING WEBWASTE
- PC or MAC compatible.
- Shockwave plug-in required