City of News: cataloguing the World Wide Web through Virtual Architecture
Flavia Sparacino, Glorianna Davenport, Alex Pentland

SIGGRAPH 99, Visual Proceedings, Emerging Technologies, Los Angeles, CA.
August 8-13, 1999.


"How do we explore the digital box of fragments that pastes together disjunctive arrays of images and sets of data into a seemingly continuous display?"... We "need to develop new modes of perception with which to receive, absorb, criticize, and produce new combinations of information." M. Christine Boyer

In a 1995 article, appeared in "La Monde Diplomatique," the French theorist of Technology, Paul Virilio, describes the phenomenon of the loss of orientation experienced by the exponentially increasing crowd which is relentlessly enthralled in cyberspace. Virilio observes that the construction of information superhighways, which are globalized and instantaneously updated, presents us with a threat, a menace to our perception of what reality is, of what it means for us to exist, as individuals, here and now. Induced by the splitting of the sensible world into real and virtual in parallel with the "invention of the perspective of real-time," this threat causes a shock, a "mental concussion," that hooks the happenings of events to a globalized monorail track. We have extended Virilio's concern to the varied world of the Net, and observed that for many, the Web is a wasteland of information, a Babel without dictionary, an encyclopaedia with no table of contents, an unstructured territory without a map...

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