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  New Langton Bay Area Awards Show: NetWork


New Langton Arts: The Bay Area Award Show
August 11 - September 25, 1999

The 1:1 project includes the creation, maintenance, and visualization of the C5 IP database, containing the IP addresses to all hosts on the world wide web. The project uses the database to create five interfaces for navigating the web and to generate a new topography of the web.

The Database
The database is the result of an ongoing interlaced search. An even sample of possible IP addresses is examined simultaneously (rather than searching from the beginning of the numerical spectrum of the IP addressing system to the end By zooming in on the numerical spectrum, i.e. repeatedly performing the search on different samplings, all possible IP addresses will eventually have been tested for inclusion in the database. The search will at that point start up again, so that new networks and hosts on the web get included. Because of the interlaced nature of the search, the database could in itself at any given point be considered a snap-shot or portrait of the web, revealing not a slice, but an image of the web with increasing resolution.

The C5 IP database contains all hosts that respond to an http request. Hosts with limited or restricted access, and without a front-end HTML document, are included. When navigating the web through the database, one experiences a very different web than when navigating it with the "road maps" provided by search engines and portals. Instead of advertisements, pornography, and pictures of people's pets, this web is an abundance of non-accessible information, undeveloped sites, and cryptic messages intended for someone else. Search-engines and portals show us a thin slice of the web, not the high resolution image we sometimes think they do. The interfaces/visualizations are not maps of the web but are, in some sense, the web. They are super-realistic and yet function in ways images could not function in any other environment or time. They are a new kind of image of the web and they are a new kind of image.

The five interfaces
hierarchical: the web as directory structure
every: a complete mapping of all web servers in the database
petri: clusters of networks and navigational traces
random: randomly generated IP addresses from the database
excursion: provides access to the unsearched places of the web



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