theBot (one infesting the horse) (2002)

"theBot (one infesting the horse)" is a time-based piece using a web bot, similar to those used by search engines, to follow links between web pages, thus examining the narrative of the web - or at least the stream-of-consciousness of a web bot. It also explores the parasitic relationship of the ever-present web robots to their "hosts" - the web content..... or is that the other way around? The process of interacting with the piece is somewhat like a search engine in reverse: the visitor first inputs a search term, which theBot dutifully looks up in a search engine. After selecting a page from the search results, theBot reads a piece of text from the page, and then begins following links in realtime from page to page. As theBot reads an excerpt from each page, its text animates across the screen, mimicking the flow of network packets. Meanwhile, theBot's voice ...

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"theBot (one infesting the horse)" is a time-based piece using a web bot, similar to those used by search engines, to follow links between web pages, thus examining the narrative of the web - or at least the stream-of-consciousness of a web bot. It also explores the parasitic relationship of the ever-present web robots to their "hosts" - the web content..... or is that the other way around? The process of interacting with the piece is somewhat like a search engine in reverse: the visitor first inputs a search term, which theBot dutifully looks up in a search engine. After selecting a page from the search results, theBot reads a piece of text from the page, and then begins following links in realtime from page to page. As theBot reads an excerpt from each page, its text animates across the screen, mimicking the flow of network packets. Meanwhile, theBot's voice reads the text aloud - layered and often repeating itself, an obsessive compulsive beat poet of the net. A listing of visited URLs begins to catalog along the side of the screen, incrementing with each URL visited - stanzas of URL poetry. The result is a slice of the structure of the web, from the point-of-view of content flow. Not surprisingly, the web can often be found talking about.... the web.

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