Reference projects and works
There are a number of works which may be considered
references for a-pam(del nas) for their inclusion of similar
or alternative concepts or approaches. They are usually works we
have analysed, used as participants and worked and discussed with
other people through the workshops.
Freeware software created by nullpointer/Tom Betts
to map sites. It builds a map of links between nodes using
graphical representation criteria which enhance clarity and
a real-time optimization
system which refines and corrects the structure as it is being created
in order to obtain the clearest possible organisation.
In contrast, a-pam(del nas) creates a
map which becomes increasingly more complex and difficult to read.
This is because it is not intended as a study tool but sets out
rather to offer an experience of the local viewpoint during exploration
of a complex structure.
Software by Benjamin Fry which forms part of
his research into the achievement of organic visualisations of huge
volumes of data. It uses a 3D tree to show the structure of directories
and documents of a site, increasing the thickness of the node
associated with the site in accordance with its popularity. The
traffic between nodes is indicated with additional lines of other
In a-pam(del nas) we have adopted some
of Anemone's characteristics, such as taking the most visited nodes
into account and eliminating those which are visited less frequently.
Visual site map
experimental cartography system created by Xia Lin (Drexel University)
which depicts a
website in the
form of a compact map of adjacent regions of colour. In our
case we discarded solutions that divide the screen into zones because
we were interested above all in observing the structure of links.
This system creates a dynamic, interactive graph
of connections to show the semantic relationships between words.
Though not designed to represent structures of sites, we feel it
approaches the type of philosophy underlying
the a-pam(del nas) project.
These are systems of graphic representation
of the contents of Rhizome's dynamic data base focussing on themes
related to electronic and net art. Both are based on using visual
metaphors: in one case, constellations of contents related in such
a way as to look like a starry sky; in the other, a spiral along
whose timelines articles are organised chronologically.
In a-pam(del nas) we try to avoid excessively
obvious visual metaphors but are aware of the forceful effect that
certain solutions can contribute.
At the moment, unfortunately, you must be a
registered user of Rhizome
to gain access to these two systems:
A dynamic map-type
system of hypertextual structure data (usually a website) generated
by means of a hyperbolic projection. Its most interesting feature
is the fact that, as we search its structure it shows in detail
only the region of contents nearest
to out centre of interest, while minimising the rest.
Inxight shares with
a-pam(del nas) the characteristic of concentrating on the local
viewpoint and on the radial expansion method of presenting the main
node and its links, though we resolve this question in precisely
the opposite way, expanding the second plane until it fills the
The Web Stalker
Software created by I/O/D which facilitates a highly unconventional way of experiencing
the Internet, a far cry from the usual user graphics interfaces
and standard browsers. It is a significant reference for us and
one we have used not only in several workshops but also as
a system with which to "analyse" our own works.
a-pam(del nas) resembles The Web Stalker
because it also reads data from the HTML code and uses the <A>
label to develop a map of nodes and links. There are two main differences
however. The first is that The Web Stalker treats all the nodes
in the map equally, whereas a-pam(del nas) accentuates the
local viewpoint and applies different forms of representation according
to distances from the principal node. The second difference is connected
with the construction process. In The Web Stalker the user provides
an initial URL and from there the system "pulls the thread"
of the links; in a-pam(del nas) the user has to guide the
map's construction at all times, choosing which of the linked nodes
should be developed. Furthermore, in a-pam(del nas) several
users can intervene in the map simultaneously.
A project created by Entropy8Zuper! based on software which takes the HTML labels
of a page and builds a world in which each of these labels is represented
by an animal or plant or some other type of image, constructing
a three-dimensional environment which can be navigated in the first
The problem of mapping data extracted from the
HTML code and its subsequent visual representation interests us
greatly. For the time being however in a-pam(del nas) we
concentrate on solely two types of label (<a> and <img>)
and resolve the problem in a rather literal way, though we do not
discard deeper investigation into this subject in the future.
Software created by Mark
Napier which acts as an alternative browser, recombining the
text, images and links of the last web-pages visited by the users.
Riot works over any browser,
it accordingly. The author's role in a
work such as this is difficult to define and Riot
highlights the intrinsic difficulty in
any attempt at control over intellectual property.
The collage concept interests us less with
a-pam(del nas) given that, while it is indeed produced, it is
limited to the first level nodes and lost almost immediately. Aspects
we do have in common with Riot however are the appropriation of
contents by means of the deep reference and the desire to intensify
debate over the control of intellectual property.
Borges: Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos
This story by Jorge Luis Borges is an essential
reference in any reflection on mazes, especially when discussing
the viewpoint of the explorer in a labyrinthine system. The argument
is simple: the King of Babylon abandons the King of the Arabs in
an extremely complex labyrinth from which he can only escape by
entrusting himself to Allah. Some years later the Arabs invade Babylon
and take its King to his own, personal labyrinth, the desert, from
where he is unable to leave and eventually dies.
The local viewpoint of the person in the maze
increases his or her disorientation, the references are always too
near making it difficult to find the way out. But the opposite case
is equally disorientational or more so. The desert's (apparent)
lack of references leaves us without clues to help us become orientated.
With a-pam(del nas) we offer a system in which the user only
has useful information from that which is too close, and even though
the structure as a whole can be seen this vision is too chaotic
to be orientational. The user thus experiences the double sensation
of being in a maze and in a desert at the same time.
BORGES, J. L. The Aleph (Collection of
short stories). Alianza Editorial 1988
socialfiction: generative psychogeography
The Dutch collective Socialfiction have been developing
their own variety of the Situationists
practice of drifting for some time now. In 2002 they issued a call
for the application of
generative psychogeography using algorithms
(which indicate the decision to be taken at each road junction).
The call received proposals from collectives all over the world.
A more recent creation by Socialfiction
a programming language for the coding of algorithms to be applied
while walking around the city.
In a-pam(del nas) we also propose the
practice of Situationist drifting as another method of navigating
the www. It is for this reason that, a priori, we do not offer the
contents of the pages we hit, instead visualising them only
through the images and texts of their links. We set out to emphasise
the act of browsing as an action of travelling through a structure
of connections rather than a search for some specific content, and
how that very act of browsing is used to build the structure that
we are exploring.
SOCIALFICTION. Generative psychogeography
as a tool for the construction of a hive mind uses the example
of the ant colony (autonomous ants explore the surroundings, finding
the best routes) which it extrapolates to the urban environment,
proposing a line of action which could lead us to a form of collective
SOCIALFICTION. Algorithmic noise
as free culture. Report/appraisal of the "Hot summer of
psychogeography 2002" organised by Socialfiction.
SOCIALFICTION. Algorithmic Psychogeography
The generic principle applied to the city walk.