_Quag mire> I
AD1969 UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock led a team of engineers in launching the first Internet message from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute, as part of the Arpanet project.
<p>In the beginning, say the bloggers, there was a small community of sites. Movement between them consisted of packets, small bundles of information that could be run through the wires by volunteer messengers. Information transfer was manageable, and local children could be persuaded to do shifts before and after school to supplement their pocket money. The scheme grew enormously popular. Interschool and interstate exchange schemes were formed to accommodate the keenly-transient juvenile population.</p> </br> <p>As the web of sites grew broader and deeper and geographically irrelevant, the burgeoning amount of information and knowledge (for there is a difference) forced information technology scientists to negotiate systems of order and sense (for there is a difference), akin to the way the Dewey Decimal System had transformed libraries. However, by the time the debate was in its second or third round of conferences, it was too late. The network had run wild, and could never again be contained.</p> </br>
<p>What was to be done? Governments of all political persuasion tried to reign in something that could not be controlled. They could, however, only defer to the information technologists.</p> </br> <p>Packet-shifting of data proved exponentially inefficient, with exhausted children losing their way among the constantly shifting connections; their parents complaining of human rights implications and the need for set wages and fair conditions.</p> </br> <p>Unbeknownst to them, far-thinking individuals had long realised that openly using children to run packages, no matter how lithe and undemanding they were, was cumbersome and morally cloudy. Connections had already been made with pioneers of genetic engineering; during the late 1970s the project had gone underground, and by this time of crisis little had been shared with the public except via rumours and the occasional obfuscating press release.</p> </br>
AD1982 The Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized and the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected TCP/IP networks called the Internet was introduced.
<p>The release of TCP/IP, a system using architecture principles and protocols for code, was hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough for information technology. The children were all sent home and compensated, the veterans of the system rehabilitated. The Internet worked speedily, and it seemed that now everything was available to everyone without moral hangovers, although it took many years for people to warm to the idea.</p> </br> <p>With the development of social networking, the Internet exploded in certain ways, casting glaring light on the surface of the net, distracting the majority of users, leaving dark corners to play and work unimpeded.</p> </br>
AD2011 1.1 billion people have regular Web access. This is roughly 22 percent of the Earthâ€™s population.
<p><i>(It is rumoured, in late-night forums and tweets â€“ which means constantly, since there are two hemispheres to this global community â€“ that the bytes of the internet are actually living creatures, nano-forms that are living and breathing and have consciousness, that need to have consciousness, in order to cope with the incessant morphing of internet needs. They exist in a universe of their own, but no-one can confirm if they are conscious of us, or capable of communicating independently, or even there.)</i></p>
“The Internet and its architecture have grown in evolutionary fashion from modest beginnings, rather than from a Grand Plan. While this process of evolution is one of the main reasons for the technology’s success, it nevertheless seems useful to record a snapshot of the current principles of the Internet architecture.” RFC 1958, 1996
Quagmire Ampersand Duck, 2011 >Inkjet and letterpress on 210gsm Como paper, spiral-bound. >Original text and images by Ampersand Duck. >Other text from Wikipedia. >A response to an excerpt from Jeanette Winterson’s novel Art and Lies (pp. 4–6, 1994 Jonathon Cape hardback edn). >Created and produced for the Book Art Object project. >www.ampersandduck.com >www.bookartobject. blogspot.com
AT W I L L R E M A I N E N A L L T H I S FA D E S ?
What will happen if the internet stops? And when it does, what will remain?
An artist's book response to an excerpt from Jeanette Winterson's 'Art and Lies', made for the Book Art Object project. The hard copy is ink...