[NetBehaviour] Third Hand Plays: The Comedy of Dysfunction.
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Thu Aug 4 13:34:33 CEST 2011
Third Hand Plays: The Comedy of Dysfunction.
by Brian Stefans
If the comedy of subjection asks “how fast?” the comedy of dysfunction
asks “how broken?” and exploits the very slipperiness of web design and
programming — the way the web browser and computer screen subvert the
best intentions of digital creators to make their products look good and
run well. In the early days of the web, graphic designers had to learn
quickly that their beautiful Illustrator or Quark creations had a
variable appearance when accessed on the web — each browser rendered
colors, tables, and other aspects of the design differently; of course,
there being screen sizes as small as 800×600 in the day, some computers
crunched the most sublime constellations of text and image into barely
Java, the languages of choice for basic interactivity, had to be
debugged across several platforms. Things have changed since Web 2.0, in
which cross-platform technologies like Flash and WordPress have rendered
some of these concerns moot, but nonetheless the possibility of
dysfunction — due to hackers, for example, who can replace the front
pages of even major websites with misinformation and garbage — remains a
steady concern of artists keen on exploiting our increasingly distant
relationship with the concreteness of print.
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