INSTALLATION: DELETED CITY – RICHARD VIJGEN
— 1 november 2015
Locatie: Theater Kikker
Deleted City – Richard Vijgen
Geocities was een van de eerste plekken op het internet waar mensen hun eigen website konden bouwen. Gebruikers verlieten de site massaal na aankoop door Yahoo. Maak in Deleted City een reis door deze vergane wereld.
These pioneers found their brave new world at Geocities, a free web-hosting provider that was modelled after a city and where you could get a free “piece of land” to build your digital home in a certain neighbourhood based on the subject of your homepage. Heartland was – as a neighbourhood for all things rural – by far the largest, but there were neighbourhoods for fashion, arts and far east related topics to name just a few. Around the turn of the century, Geocities had tens of millions of “homesteaders” as the digital tenants were called and were bought by Yahoo! for three and a half-billion dollars.
Ten years later in 2009, as other metaphors of the internet (such as the social network) had taken over, and the homesteaders had left their properties vacant after migrating to Facebook, Geocities was shutdown and deleted. In a heroic effort to preserve 10 years of collaborative work by 35 million people, the Archive Team made a backup of the site just before it shut down. The resulting 650 Gigabyte bit-torrent file is the digital Pompeii that is the subject of an interactive excavation that allows you to wander through an episode of recent online history.