Sturdy and Elegant Walls of HTML Bricks & CSS Mortar

[Creators] Assorted
[Project] Web Design
[Story] From amazing animated Flash website to the frisky CSS

Infinite undefined potential. This is the essence of this new medium: a convergence of media, a space where the only rule is the technology, and the technology is constantly changing. A territory transforming beneath its own maps.

“THE INTERNET NOW HAS A CHANCE to be what it was always meant to be — not a money-maker, necessarily, but a place where the underground can express itself,” says Marco Ferrari, a 38-year-old Italian artist who goes by the name of Lazzaro.

On his Flash-animation-heavy Web site Element Zero (element-zero.com), Lazzaro has for years displayed the work of friends and collaborators: video documentaries of performances, photographs of Burning Man, commentary on political events (I contributed during the Democratic National Convention after we’d argued about the usefulness of activism). But in three months he plans to re-launch the site as a place where digital artists and animators can exhibit their skills — and where the out-of-work can still use what they learned on their lost jobs. “The corporate structure will never connect with any community,” says Lazzaro. “They hire all these kids to do something they think is good, but when it doesn’t work, they have nothing.” Thirsty.com, an L.A.-based rave-teen news portal that folded in November, is the perfect example, he says: “They were a Westside-based company with a lot of kids working on it, and they built a huge, beautiful Web site in a few months’ time. But they didn’t have a community, and no one was interested, so when they ran out of money, everything was lost.”
Every three months, Lazzaro plans to bring digital art to living and breathing humans at a festival. And of course, he hopes the event will bring in sponsors. “If you want to make something happen, you have to start with a little thing. I don’t think it’s possible to make a lot of money right now unless you want to become a corporation. And if you want to touch the core of the underground, you can’t be a corporation.

“We are in a city that has collected artists like nowhere before. There is something here about the sense of space, the opportunities, it is so vast and big and welcoming at this time, it’s very alive. But the digital-art community, all these kids who were working for these corporations, they’re very spread out. There’s no tribe that connects them. So a project that connects all these kids together as a big tribe creating things — it will be like a big production company. One day I’ll connect the community to the business world, and the money will come.”

404, Host Not Found
The end of the Web as we know it
by Judith Lewis, LA Weekly 2001

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