Digital Media Concepts/Cameron's World

Cameron’s World is a web-collage piece created by Cameron Askin in 2015.[1] is described as “a love letter to the Internet of old,” and the website serves as a dynamic archive of thousands of now-defunct pages from GeoCities, a web-hosting platform that shut down in October of 2009.[2]

Site Content edit

The site is a whimsical collage of upwards of 700[3] interactive GIFs, text, and hyperlinks. Its vertical structure encourages users to scroll through all of the distinct regions living in the website.[4] When viewers click on an element containing a link, a “Catscape Navigator 2.0” window appears with an archived GeoCities page for the user to explore. Cameron’s World is complete with its very own original soundtrack: a MIDI sound source style piece by Robin Hughes.[4] At the very top of the site, there are two buttons: the sound button allows the user the option to mute or unmute the site audio, and the twitter button transports users to Askin’s Twitter page. A brief piece of text resides at the very bottom of the site. Within the footer there is a brief description detailing the objective of Cameron’s World, credits to site contributors, and a short message about GeoCities' legacy.[2]

The Catscape navigator vaguely resembles the design of the 1995 web browser Netscape Navigator 2.0. At the top of each Catscape Navigator window there are three tabs: “What is Catscape,” “Upgrade,” and “Meow.” If the user clicks on “What is Catscape?”, a blurb appears explaining that it is a web “purrowser” based upon a gif that Askin found from the GeoCities archives. Clicking on the “Upgrade” tab causes another popup to appear, notifying users that Catscape is the most advanced browser available currently. Clicking “Meow” causes the displayed at the top of the page to switch to a different link. At the bottom right of each window, there is information regarding where the GeoCities page was archived from – oftentimes Wayback Machine.[2]

Development edit

Inspiration edit

Askin mentioned that the "One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age Photo Op" project by Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied was an inspiration for Cameron’s World. Lialina and Espenschied’s project involved archiving screenshots of GeoCities pages and compilng them into a Tumblr page in chronological order. This eventually inspired Askin’s own exploration of other GeoCities archives like OoCities.[3]

Process edit

Askin maneuvered through GeoCities neighborhood directories, screenshotting GIFs and interesting text snippets and noting down URLs. He described that the “GIF excavation” was the most time-consuming phase of the development process. Afterwards, Askin positioned the collected elements into a Photoshop document and sorted them into groups. Each webpage element was positioned with CSS. Developer Anthony Hughes managed the setup of the website server[3] and the JavaScript mechanics.[2]

Reception edit

Cameron's World has been featured in various publications since its publication.[1] VICE described Askin to have ”sifted through thousands of these archived sites to bring them back from the cyber graveyard—all in their original form with links intact. The end product is Cameron’s World, a garishly-decorated wormhole into some of the weirdest corners of the old school internet.”[3] Boing Boing described the site as “a beautiful and strangely haunting trip to a compilation of the Geocities-era web, made of carefully-rearranged bitmaps & bitrot”.[5]

See also edit

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Press – Cameron's World". Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Cameron's World". Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Kesa, Ingrid (2015-08-24). "Travel Back in Time to the Best and Weirdest GeoCities Sites". Vice. Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "インターネットの化石が出土! 謎のサイトが伝える愛のメッセージとは". | POP is Here . (in Japanese). 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  5. Beschizza, Rob (2015-08-23). "Cameron's World". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2023-10-23.

Further reading edit

External links edit