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Leonardo Gallery 89 RIDE-THE-BYTE by Art+Com Ride-the-Byte (1999) is a “visible web” project designed to graphically convey a sense of the global network of servers routing information data packets. The exhibit consists of a large three-dimensional representation of the earth, composed of satellite imagery and projected onto the gallery wall at resolutions of up to 1 km per pixel. In front is a touch-screen terminal at which visitors can surf approximately 100 bookmarked sites based at locations around the world. Each time a visitor selects a site, the wall projection shows the view from the virtual camera as it zooms out, until it is looking down on the earth from space. A communications trace is then drawn across the globe on the wall as the data packet travels through various servers to its destination, whereupon the selected site’s homepage opens. Past traces remain on the globe to indicate the traffic of previous gallery surfers. These traces also serve to give a sense of the distribution and layout of the Internet. Art+Com is based in Berlin, Germany. Its members combine commercial virtual-reality simulation work with a commitment to experimental , art-based projects. (© Art+Com. Photo: Paul Thompson)(Contact: Joachim Sauter, Art+Com, Kleiststr. 23-26, D-10787 Berlin, Germany . E-mail: . Web: .) ...


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