All in its animated gif, ugly design glory, this is my first website I made. It wouldn’t be a Geocities site if there wasn’t a “under construction” icon somewhere! Mine is deftly photoshopped into the site navigation for the design section.
While I was looking for a job after graduating college in 1997. During that summer, I taught myself HTML and how to create websites. The hot place to host your site at that time was Geocities. Every Geocities website was located in one of 40 different neighborhoods, ranging from Area51 (Science fiction and fantasy) to Yosemite (Hiking, rafting, and the great outdoors). I opted for SoHo, the neighborhood of art, poetry, prose, and the bohemian spirit.
The official address for my home on the Information Superhighway was www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/9365
Yahoo shut down Geocities and its 38 million user-built sites in April 2009. Back when Yahoo bought out Geocities on January 28, 1999, it was the 3rd most popular website on the internet. Such a shame that all those millions of webpages are now gone. Thankfully, there is an archiving attempt to keep some of the pages alive. Reocities.com has brought back 2.3 million of the accounts. Sadly, mine was not one of them.
Thankfully, this week I found a backup of my Geocities site that I made on November 30, 1997. Just now I re-uploaded the archive onto spudart.org for everyone to see my site frozen in time from 19 years ago. A bit like finding a frozen neanderthal hidden under the ice for many years.
My neanderthal features artwork from college with potatoes, self-portraits, and an artwork about the internet. Each of these artworks continues to have relevance today.
Taking the old communication method of tin cans connected to strings, I connected together a series of tin cans together forming a web. Speak into one tin can, and your voice gets carried across the web, where you can listen in any of the other tin cans connected to this line.
Move over selfies, I was created self-portraits back in the mid-90s. Only, mine were done with a twist where I would dunk my head into an aquarium filled with water, press my face up against the glass, and snap the photo. It was a sort of homage to xeroxing one’s face against the glass in a copier machine. But now it has relevance to selfies shot today.
I hadn’t even termed the name “spudart” yet when I created this artwork with potatoes. These standing potatoes were showcased in the IWU Senior Art Show. A month later, I would come up with the spudart name for my hotmail address.
Geocities allowed me to display my artwork to the world. It also gave me a place to learn and use HTML—the seeds for where I am today as the Marketing Manager for Tribune Content Agency.
My 1997 resume is also available. Oh, for the time when it was completely normal to have an AOL email address on your resume. Vintage programs are listed such as QuarkXPress 3.3 and Adobe Photoshop 3.0. That’s actually Photoshop 3, not CS3, not CC3. Simply Photoshop 3.0. Oh, and if you want a Interactive Portfolio on CD-ROM, that is available upon request. Made with Macromedia Director 5.0. CD-Roms, they are the wave the future. So was Geocities!
Years before DJ music and pop dance music hit the States, I structured my honors thesis around myself being DJ Potato, masta of the incongruous rhythms. It’s actually kinda entertaining how I managed to weave that into Duchamp-inspired art manipulating language.