Launched Wednesday, April 1st 2009

Site built by Elise Roedenbeck, Technology Assistant

Rhizome introduced splash pages to its web site in 1998 in order to display artwork with greater immediacy. Splash art occupied the entire browser window, and the works were not indexed by prefaces, links, and thumbnails as art usually was on Rhizome and other sites. When the artwork appeared, the only clue to its authorship was in an extension of Rhizome’s URL, a structural necessity that also served a community-building function. Not only did the splash project create a more direct platform for showcasing work, it also defined a circle of artists by connecting their name to Rhizome’s in the location bar and forging a direct bond between their art and Rhizome’s home page.

Splashback: Rhizome's Splash Pages, 1998-2002 is an online exhibition featuring 39 splash pages commissioned over a four-year period. Splashback offers a brief overview of online art and design practices from ten years ago through a nearly obsolete medium, the splash page.

Image: Mark Tribe, Alex Galloway, and Martin Wattenberg, Starry Night, 1999