context weblog 2001

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march 27, 2001 ::

4th international
crack the code:
          design and deliver!


browserday origin

Browserday was co-founded in Amsterdam, in 1998, by award-winning designer Mieke Gerritzen, director of NL.Design and director of the design and new-media department of Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, and media theorist Geert Lovink, who co-founded the nettime mailing-list discussions of Net politics and culture.

In 1998, young design students were challenged to come up with alternatives for the existing browsers. What the interfaces will have to look like in the future? Students from Utrechtıs Academy of the Arts and Amsterdamıs Sandberg Institute and Gerrit Rietveld Academy were given the assignment of developing a design for a browser within a month. This challenge became the First Browserday.

This challenge emerged in the wake of Netscape's move; when released the source code of their browser, enabling others to build on the existing technology and develop it further into more varied directions. In this context, was posed the question of the meaning of browsers and browser design, and on the more general topic of how to make technology work for its users.



browserday prizes

In 1998, the first prize went to *Browser by Joes Koppers*, while the second prize went to Vanessa Borcic and Hjordis Thorborg for their L/TM design.

The second Browserday -- May 1999, Amsterdam -- take an international character, with participants from outside the Netherlands (Finland, Germany, United Kingdom). The theme was "Operating Systems." The winner was *Enzyme by Andrej Mrackovski*.

The third International Browserday -- May 2000, Amsterdam -- themed "The End of the Browser." Invitations were sent to international arts academies from Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and United Kingdom. Winners were *HyperSPC v1.0 by Victor Vina*, and Henk Jan Bouwmeester for his "Dawn of the Browser" concept.

grafik cutup from some samples of the winners in the competition 2000

rethinking basics: what it means to 'surf the web'

"Browsers are extremely powerful tools because they make us understand the world, information, and ourselves in a specific way," said artist, theorist and critic of new media *Lev Manovich*, associate visual arts professor at the University of California, San Diego, and author of the book The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2000).

"Alternative browsers provide different worldviews, different ways to think about data and the Internet... Designing your own browser is the most radical form of artistic activity," Manovich said. "It means you're questioning the very foundation of technology."

Scope browser >>> Suzanne Hin

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source :: 

international browserday site

:: references
Browser by Joes Koppers Review in Mediamatic Magazine
Enzyme by Andrej Mrackovski Review + Interview by Geert Lovink
Lev Manovich

:: grafik
I/O/D 4 The Web Stalker
grafik cutup from some samples of the winners in the competition 2000
HyperSPC browser >>> victor vina
Quantum browser >>> Myriel Milicenic and Axel Ebert
Scope browser >>> Suzanne Hin


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