Reactor

New Aesthetic Watch: Google BBS

by An Xiao on April 19, 2012

A screenshot of mass:werk's Google BBS.

A screenshot of mass:werk's Google BBS.

LOS ANGELES — Look out, world, the New Aesthetic is coming. Or is it? We here at Hyperallergic thought we might start collecting more evidence of the tide of new aesthetics sweeping our tweeting-clicking-instagramming. We realize that there’s already a tumblelog doing this, but we wanted to continue the dialogue from my original post exploring the topic.

This edition looks at a BBS version of Google, a project by the Austrian mass:werk media environments. It’s a real, functioning service, with a mock login process that recalls the days when you had to connect to the internet using your phone line. The results are actual Google results, with links to the original pages for your plain ol’ 21st century browser.

This will be a trip for those of us old enough to remember the days of BBS, Telnet and a text-based Oregon Trail. But I bet newer netizens will love this little piece of nostalgia and a chance to relive the days of yore (never mind that Google came around after BBS’s fell out of favor).

Is it New Aesthetic? There was a time when this is how we saw through digital devices and the divide between human and computer perception was more clear. Humans saw images, smiles, colors. Computers were 8-bit color and monochromatic fonts, and it’s that vision of the computer world that we see in a film like The Matrix, where humans live in a green-tinted wonderland built by machines.

(h/t Engadget)

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  • http://twitter.com/iberob Robert Cicetti

    New Aesthetic, Art 2.0, Cyber Art. New Aesthetic certainly sounds more pretentious, but does that make it any different than techno-fetishism? Do we really need an umbrella term to act as a catch-all for anything computerized? Hasn’t technology always influenced art and perception? New Aesthetic implies, with a wonderful aura of triumphalism, that we can look at the day and age in which we live as something more spectacular than what has come before. I’m worried that the idea of the new aesthetic and all that flows from it will look like a bad case of retro-futurism twenty years from now.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      It does all feel like a form of retro. Not really it’s own thing but an off shoot.

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