I did make a browser about a decade or so ago that navigated urls by subject and used the Dewey Decimal system as the interface. You navigated by selecting DDC numbers and that would take you to a website that would fit the subject descriptor associated with it. It works for multiple simultaneous users so you can see other people's interactions with the system at the same time as you are using it. It's still online at www.babel.net.uk (you need Shockwave to use it).
The piece was not intended to be a serious application but a humorous and critical reflection on how we represent and categorise knowledge and the appropriateness of the web for structuring that. The piece gained some attention at the time. My favourite review was in the Computer section of the Guardian, where the reviewer asked why anybody could have considered making such a stupid browser and suggesting this was the worst piece of software they had ever encountered. I guess the piece was a success in meeting my aims and objectives.
On 6 Sep 2012, at 15:58, roger malina wrote:
> thanks for picking up on my comment on curating the planet- i forget
> whether i already said
> this on this list but this summer i read a book about paul otlet given
> to me by jan baetans
> Otlet was the lead european developer for the dewey decimal system - and
> all human activities of course fit into one gigantic tree of sub classifications
> he proposed :
> In 1910, Otlet and La Fontaine first envisioned a "city of knowledge",
> which Otlet originally named
> the "Palais Mondial" ("World Palace"), that would serve as a central
> repository for the world's information.
> of course thats not what happened= museums were systematically created
> over the last century
> for separate sub classes ( art, science, technology, moving image,
> photography etc etc there are now
> computer museums in silicon valley) and this went hand in hand with
> the development of academic disciplines
> within disciplines and the fragmentation of the way knowledge is
> taught and viewed.
> I am not in the library field=but its clear that URLS and URIS dont
> conform to dewey decimal=
> and search engines function on a different model/metaphor
> and are more within a concept of networked knowledge - where
> activities are linked tightly
> or loosely with other ones= and in fact that networked knowledge
> structure is dynamic and
> evolving ( unlike dewey decimal that just adds sub decimals)
> if current museums are appropriate for the era of dewey decimal and
> the tree of knowledge
> what would the appropriate organisation of museums be that is
> appropriate to URLS
> and the network of knowledge ?
> would the content of collections be dynamically re organised and re
> distributed as
> the network of knowledge evolves and objects that were distant from each other
> become more tightly connected culturally ? museums would see part of their
> collections migrate to other museums and other content arriving
> !! and empty museums would then close.
> the other topic for curating the planet and i wont expand here is the
> entry into the anthropocene= denisa kera has a fascinating facebook discussion
> going on 'designing for the anthropocene"
> I encourage you to join in there as her discussion is very much linked to the
> curating the planet idea
> Denisa Kera updated the description.
> The Anthropocene marks a period when human activities radically
> determine evolutionary
> and geological conditions and the future of the earth's ecologies.
> Theorized by Paul Crutzen,
> the Anthropocene is the current geological epoch defined by the
> exceptional role of human
> activity in redefining basic aspects of the biosphere since the 1800s.
> Climate change, food
> security and metabolic syndrome are just few examples of the complex
> challenges in
> managing energy and other meaningful human-nonhuman exchanges on various scales.
> In the workshop (Sept 18th - 20th) and the symposium (Sept 21st) we
> look at some recent
> design trends and approaches for tackling these global issues.
> How can we rethink our responsibility in the Anthropocene? What does
> it mean to design
> for the anthropocene?
> How does design based on open data and DIY (do-it-yourself)
> approaches, participatory
> and critical design methodologies, and humanitarian engineering,
> differ from cybernetic and
> technocratic dreams of control of complex systems?
> What is the role of artistic interventions, philosophy of technology,
> Science, Technology,
> and Society studies and other disciplines in influencing and
> reflecting upon these design
> ambitions and practices?
> How to reflect upon and how to experiment with the various relations
> between food chains,
> social networks, and ecologies above and below that of the human body?
> roger malina
> On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 4:23 PM, Johannes Birringer
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> wishing to by-pass the unexpectedly late-summer heated debate about an artforum article,
>> I wonder whether it is too late to remember Ion Ippolito, and also (as Ion mentions it as well), the earlier fascinating post by Roger Malina,
>> in which Roger proposes to look beyond the "art world" collection protocols and gate keepers.
>>>> I guess one of the things that has annoyed me about the current discussion
>> ( and steve dietz has tried to turn it away) is its art-centric discussion= there are so many people that collect things, so many different kinds of museums and the citizen art- science movement is busy appropriating the natural world digitally= these are not duchampian found objects= every digital appropriation is a act of artistic or scientific translation and the boundary between the 'natural' and the 'artificial' is good and fuzzy- the nature of art has evolved continuously over the last few centuries- surely we need to avoid 'backing into the future' when talking about curating new media art
>> so well spoken.
>> I noted that no one answered, and this sometimes
>> happens, surprisingly, here.
>> Ion, i'm sorry i can't say anything concrete about your question about the new Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances,
>> i have not looked at the details yet and how this affects performance/media productions,
>> but we did encounter quite a few licence restrictions in the Kafka's Wound project that
>> I presented here the other week.
>> I'll try and think this through further.
>> About your "Ghetto Blasting," i think it already touches upon the current discussion,
>> and I wish to thank Kevin Hamilton for his sharp and humorous commentary.
>>>> [Kevin schreibt]:
>> What remains less questioned in this discussion? The ways in which subjectivities are shaped by professions as well as media.
>> Johannes Birringer
>> [Ion schreibt]
>> * On ghetto blasting
>> A stuffy Pompidou curator told me that an (even stuffier) art star told her he would never be in a show with "media" as a theme. So Steve Dietz is right, let's drop "media" as a theme and cozy up to art world insiders, hopefully persuading them to shrug off their elitism at the same time. (Steve's curated about ten times as many shows as I have, so he should know.)
>> Speaking of the Art World and App Store, I think Steve will appreciate the fact that net artist-turned-appmaker Lia's fetching new Sum05 iPhone app looks a lot like his 1998 Beyond Interface logo!
>> At the same time, I agree with Roger Malina that "curating" is no longer the province of art or even museums. I've recently learned this the hard way while crafting an online digital curation curriculum to accommodate scientists and government officials, not to mention Pinterest peeps and Tumblr types. More on this shift in curatorial focus here:
>> Roger, I'd love to hear if you have any best-of-breed resources for data curation and citizen science.
>> * On collecting performance
>> I'd be curious about Johannes Birringer's take on the new Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which adds a layer of copyright-like protection to audiovisual performers (actors, musicians, dancers).
>> At first I thought this new legal restriction might have a silver lining in supporting the precarious life of the performing artist. Unfortunately, the EFF looked under the hood and saw that performers' rights can be transferred to the producers. Same old same old?
>> * On embalming Grampa
>> I loved Domenico's comment about how best to "preserve" the memory of loved ones. Richard Rinehart and I appraise the new market for personal data cemetaries in our forthcoming book Re-collection. To me, paying an Internet service to archive Facebook posts is like paying the Hindenberg to follow the Titanic around in case it sinks.
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