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Re: <eyebeam><blast> The Museum of the Future

JIppolito@guggenheim.org wrote:

> The Web did not exist in
> its present form five years ago; what is the chance that it will exist
> five years from now?  Regardless of what replaces the Web--3D
> projections, a VR interface, smart walls--there is no guarantee that 
> we
> will be able to view projects currently designed for the Web in that
> new medium. This is not an academic question for museums that are
> considering acquiring Web projects into their collections.

This is an important question.  But my conclusions are somewhat
different. Storing the original hardware is one solution (I think the
Computer Museum in Boston stores several of each type), Jon's proposal
of variable media is another alternative.  But the better solution seems
to be already in place.

Java Applets my become unusable at some date.  But I think it has now
become clear that HTML documents are with us to stay.  It is hard to
imagine a calamity that could wipe out the persistence of HTML browsers
and yet not destroy the institutions and culture of Art.  Whatever
future browsers do and look like, they will support HTML also.  There
are hundreds of millions, soon to be billions, of public documents
written in HTML all over the world (and billions more private
documents).  The ability to read those documents is embedded in
thousands of distinct pieces of software maintained by dozens of
institutions on every continent.  Further, HTML is easy to implement and
the specifications (and even the source code) to do so are as well
protected as any artifact in human history.  Destroying every mirror of
every archive containing the source code to a Web browser would be
nearly impossible.

Producing new cherry red bulbs would be a significant industrial
enterprise. Hiring someone to produce an HTML browser on a new piece of
hardware would cost a few thousand dollars, and in practice it would
probably be free.

So my solution is to produce work for the Web.

- Stephen Linhart

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