Station Rose on 15 Jan 2001 19:26:03 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> don't Disassociate Webdesign (as an aspect of appengineering) from Usability

Even even my answer is a bit late, I think the topic is still important enough.

>With my original posting I did not want to dump on web design, nor did I
>want to glorify it. What I pointed at is a widespread attempt within the
>(new) media industries to limit the creative work of web designers within
>standardized templates. There is a total victory of the portal aesthetics
>(which in my view even extends to slashdot, the cnn for geeks). I think that
>the ascii text-only lovers should not take the side of the web barons.
>Instead, we should open new windows of dialogue and collaboration between
>code/text writers on the one and the flash-oriented web design community on
>the other hand. Flash is not anti text. It takes the web in a whole
>different direction altogether, from the still image to animation and
>eventually (interactive) film. To accuse people experimenting with the
>moving image of being regressive, both in terms of technology and (social)
>usability, only further widens the gap between the worlds of code and image.

It is interesting to observe, that when moving images come to the front,
there is often quite some negative reaction to it. I remember when we used
gif anis in our Eminds conference, people very quickly said : "anis make
websites slow". Today most of the websites are slow because of flash
So what. What is not slow. Banning animations cannot be the solution.

>Film and animation over the last hundred years have been fantastic tools to
>tell stories. The fact that most flash animations are empty and meaningless
>is not an indication of its conceptual weakness. It rather reflects the
>deeply boring age we are stuck in, deeply devided disciplines and tribes,
>all producing their own perfect self-referential worlds.

The question is when are flash anis only design  and when are they art.
Empty design is really  boring, hurts the eye plus slows down, no doubt.And
too often it gets re-sampled by other designers instead of toying with new
forms. Quite a loop. Often looks the same. This happend already to the
techno movement with the design, magazines, flyers, record covers. Sure
this can happen to Flash now. When it gets cooperate. There must be a
seeable difference between a CNN site and an artist site. But animations in
the net are still in the beginning. It is maybe not a good idea to critize
the medium, the program, but maybe sites that look just too cooperate. I
think the trap is, that often designers who use flash - for their design
jobs- just bring this way of working along when they want to produce
original stuff. Where nothing has to be sold, where the animation stands
for itself. On the other side the net-consumer& -critic has to look longer
at the output that comes out of Flash or other programs.  I personally dont
use Flash, but I use streaming a lot.  Here I can see the output faster, it
is more sensual for me to stream. It is moving more complex and in realtime.
Compared to streaming there is less action and change, soundz included, but
still  interseting animations can come out of it. No question. Flash is one
of the ways how the net can become animated. And it will. There a some
others, even some which are around since long time.

> To accuse people experimenting with the
>moving image of being regressive, both in terms of technology and (social)
>usability, only further widens the gap between the worlds of code and image.

In the net one way to express ideas is via text, but this is one way only.
In the early online days, around 91/92 there was no other way than talking
to each other. The <visual> web wasnt here already. At least the way text
was used often was radical, mainly because writing much online was too
expensive. That fact afforded a short version of talking. Whats happens now
is that a very high end, precise version of writing/talking is wanted. At
the same time an anti-animation movement can be observed. For me as a
visual artist I am not totally happy with that. Often in a daily schedule
it makes  me angry having to concentrate so much on email/words,.. It takes
too much time to sort of proofread . Makes me often feel like in school. I
have the impresson that all those words <steel> some of my
<icons/animation-time>  And it brings in some sort of bureaucratic old
fashioned letter-type of conversations, that has a strong retro touch. This
is also one of the reasons why I am not posting much in nettime. I am sure
more theorists respond here than artists. I would post more if I could send
a message via a gif ani or a stream.
Maybe in the near future we find a way to communicate better online in
both/triple ways -
grafix - soundz - text.  That would maybe also mean that artists and
theorists would come closer to each other. I would not mind that !

Elisa Rose   <>

STATION ROSE hypermedia (Elisa Rose & Gary Danner)
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