Travel to Java Island

Luís Silva

publicado em (2005)

Travel to Java Island

Java Island or an island in JAVA?

A minute window that is open and increases until it occupies the entire screen.

A text which informs us that “this page contains a hidden script and your browser is now partially controlled by some lines of code. For troubleshooting please contact the Museum of Modern Strategy…”.

The browser was effectively controlled by an unknown source and it is not possible to do anything else besides the self-replication of this window with this message. It’s one more strategy of power questioned by the Museum Of Modern Strategy (another project by Leal), the breaking of the omnipresence and the omnipotence of the browser. It no longer controls tyrannically the way we access and visualize the information. Actually, it doesn’t allow for us to develop that type of activity. It finds itself as a hostage among a few lines of coding and the only plausible solution is to restart the computer, which we promptly do.

The hostage is us, and voluntarily.

(text originally published for Online - Portuguese Netart 1997-2004 and translated to English by Rui Azevedo)

We can see this project as a form of resistance. The access to information is now controlled by big companies like Microsoft. Their browsers allow us to do only what they want us to do and, ultimately, find what they allow us to find. The way the information is dispayed on our screens is chosen by their interface designers. This project, by shortcircuiting our web browser, by taking it and transforming it into the artist's hostage, sheds some light into the dominance strategies working around us. No longer able to work with the browser, what does one do? What does one do when liberated from the IE6 tyranny? Fear, doubt... confusion... One restarts the computer hoping it will solve the problem... Do we like tyranny? Who is resisting after all? Didn't we all pray for IE6 to be working properly after restarting the computer?

I did.

Miguel Leal
JAVA Island