|Website Wigs - The Installation @ Woodstreet Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA|
|Installation of Website Wigs (2004) and Website Wigs, Interrupted (2006/07)
|On show: January 28 - March 31, 2007
In "Thread", curated by Michele Thursz.
Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA.
|Website Wigs are visualizations of the hypertext link strucutre of websites. Html code is braided
into hair representing each Website's link structure as a hair-do. Websites being portrayed as wigs are google.com. Microsoft.com, or intel.com, among others... Website Wigs
are interconnected in the form of a large hairy diagram across the wall, showing how the sites link to each other online.
In Website Wigs (WW) I am transferring the underlying hypertext structure of the Web, into the medium of mixed-media installation. I am translating the way websites are written - how they are scripted and programmed - into a set of instructions for braiding, color-coding and knotting the hair of wigs. The hyper-linked tree structures of a website - following the links several levels down into the depth of it - serve as the blueprint for building these threaded objects.
In these installations I am objectifying and even humanizing the Web, forming each website into an object, half human prosthesis/half network. These wigs are built from a "wearers" point-of-view, meaning that they are built as if a humanoid website character would comb and braid her hair in her daily morning make-up session, always different, based on the structure of the links of the day. (In other works of mine, the performance works, I embody websites and take on their daily hypertext-structure on the fly as directives for expressing movement). Several Websites will be introduced for this gallery installation such as microsoft.com, google.com and apple.com. Some wigs will appear in "full" structure, being built four levels down into the site, others as "interrupted" wigs, where the braiding was interrupted for some reason. A server crash? Or just an interrupted morning hair routine, where the brush got entangled. Or both... The installation also shows how these websites are linked among each other; so their interlinking structure online is shown in a large hairy diagram across a large section of a wall, constituting some sort of wig-to-wig protocol. The folder structure within the link is visualized through the amount of pins from one wig to the other. Which wig links to which is color-coded by the pin color.
Most of these websites are very well known and common tools used by millions of users. In the gallery installation, the websites, long stripped of their usual function and materialized solely on grammatical formula, become large mounted hair organisms. The various braidings of the hair correlates to the diverse functionalities within the html of the site: Each color-coded hair elastic represents a specific link on the website; a knot in the hair stands for "secure https", while "loops" in the hairdo correspond to menu items on the website which link back to an upper level in the hierarchy.
In the WW series I am addressing issues of "visualizing" data; data that works on agreed-upon specifications and guidelines used for a "global" standard of data exchange. With these objects I am juxtaposing the impersonal and the personal. I am confronting a structure which is often, actually mostly, never visible but serves as the architecture of our transactions, conversations and communications, and make it visible in a very direct and personal way. While I am selecting the matching wig for each website, the choice which one to use is based on the overall "look-and-feel" of the site; whereas the braiding of the hair is based on the organizations of each website, on its inherent logic, which will altogether produce a personalized hairpiece based on non-personal instructions.
While the "original" websites and their links to each other continue to change, these objects and their network are eternalized snapshots of moments passed in Internet time.