The Shredder & Riot by Mark Napier

In this piece by Mark Napier, The Shredder is an alternative web browser that turns web pages into digital confetti in which it sort of “tears” the website and mixes the layers that we don’t usually see in a “well done” website.

It somehow mixes code with the usual website and presents a kind of abstract way of looking at websites. It visually presents a digital reaction between code, image and information.

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Although this was done is 1997, I feel that this was very advanced as a piece of art that critiques the internet. It raises up a new perspective for people as everything on the internet is essentially made up of codes.

The deconstruction and the rearranging of these elements: codes, images, brings forth a refreshing look at the internet. shredder_entry_box_detail_wired_3

On the other hand,the work “Riot” which was done in 1998, a later year, seems to be an upgrade from ” The Shredder”.

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It merges web pages together as users surf from site to site.blends web pages together as users surf from site to site.

“Visitors surfing with Riot see their own pages merged with pages from other users.” – Mark Napier

The concept of a multi-user browser still baffles me as I would view it as not functional which made me think of this quote that I read :

“I learned about myself in that moment – about my expectations and conceptions of how a videogame should work. The strange game seemed only to return me to my own perspectives and expectations around the medium that it was failing to be.” -Menkman, R. (2011) “Glitch Moment(um),” Institute of Network Cultures

This was definitely a reflection of how I already came with expectations for the browser, something that I have been using in a certain way since I could use the internet and when something comes along and disrupts the ‘order’ of things that I expect it to be, I would view it as it is dysfunctional.

This is a perfect example of what coders might consider as a glitch and it does definitely have,

“potential to interrogate conventions through crashes, bugs, errors and viruses” – Menkman, R. (2011) “Glitch Moment(um),” Institute of Network Cultures

as we start to question what are the expectations that we have for a functioning website?

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