. blog —

Vote For Anything (1994) - Henry Lowengard

By Ceci Moss


Artist's statement- Vote For Anything is a kind of a social experiment as well as an Internet "game" that was running even before the widespread adoption of the "World Wide Web" HTTP protocol. It originally ran as part of my gopher-based "e-zine" Glum Homebody, on the gopher of ECHO, gopher.echonyc.com (which is no longer available)...As the Web expanded beyond the original confines of CERN, I adapted the underlying program to run as a cgi-bin program on my personal web page at ECHO and also at WFMU.org, where it runs today. A few years ago, I prettied up the color scheme, but it basically runs the same as it always has... It's an interesting art piece that can be hijacked by someone with an axe to grind, simply by writing in people and things they wish to hate or promote. From an early implementation, I've always filtered out HTML in the write-ins, so that no redirection or other spoofing would be possible. By allowing for negative votes, one can actively disapprove of something, which fulfills a real need for voters. No one is restricted from multiple votes for multiple items, which sounds like it should make it easy to jam the election in some way, but in fact, this has never happened. The list of candidates ends up looking a little like lists of search engine search items, but they are a little more intentional. The open ended nature of the list lets incongruous items creep in between more serious entries, if any. In fact, incongruous items tend to take over the list, making a kind of collaborative poem, if there's enough traffic.

— Share this Article —