Script tease in cyberspace

Web Sites
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Closer

http://www.closer.co.uk

Patrick Marber's play is already famous for its Internet sex sequence, so its official Web site raises all sorts of expectations. The online encounter, actually a hoax, is briefly sampled from the script, and one character defines the Net as "two boys tossing in cyberspace". Otherwise nothing too risque, or too self-reflexive: last week's promised cyberchat with the author was prefaced with a warning to keep it clean or be banned. The design follows the play's structure of short dialogues, with selections accompanied, and sometimes overwhelmed, by vaguely apposite quotes from writers such as Dorothy Parker, Philip Roth and - the main inspiration - Noel Coward. Linked in parallel with this, sometimes rather confusingly, are interviews, bios and background on some of the London locations used in the play. Plus a message board, and that all-important online booking facility.

Frank Herholdt

http://www.frankherholdt.co.uk/

This photographic portfolio last week took first prize at the Cannes Advertising Festival's new "Cyberlion" awards for interactive marketing. Designed by the creators of the Tate Gallery site, it frames Herholdt's work with lots of quirky Shockwave and stylised camera and viewfinder imagery. The photos themselves range from elaborate, witty studio tableaux and collages, to the desertscapes and sooty urban monochromes of his more personal stuff, and includes the coke-snorting soccer stars (et al) of his News of the World promotion. The design offers a sophisticated spareness: minimal text and busy but delicate graphics, as though not to compete with the vivid images on display.

The Shapwick Project

http://www.wkac.ac.uk/shapwick/

Alex gets on with the manometry survey, Keith does the borehole samples to examine the wetland/ dryland interface and Chris is getting really excited by the emerging feature in Trench Y. Meanwhile, the second years are well into the mattocking. "Archeology, live!" sounds like a bit of contradiction, but this long-term survey project, which goes back to 1989, will now get a month of daily pictorial updates on the Web, plus interviews with participants. The study aims to examine changes in land use and habitation in the Somerset village, and though it is a new-style, multidisciplinary investigation, it still hopes to capture "the essence of a traditional British excavation campaign".

ACDO Laundorama

http://www.acdo.co.uk/ laundorama/setup_f.html

Soap operas, of course, once really did sell soap, and this Web version from a Bolton-based maker of specialised detergents is creative enough to send you dashing out immediately in search of some Antibacterial Glo White Wash Booster with Fabrisan. Advanced frame by frame by the viewer and complete with commercial breaks, the animated cast includes gorgeous, pouting Gloria "Glo" White and the sinister Lather Brothers. Elsewhere in this primary-coloured online laundrette you'll find some games - "Attack of the Martian Bubbles" - along with everything anyone could possibly wish to know about Wonderbar Stain Remover and dozens of other potentially very boring products. Here it's all good, and impeccably clean, fun.

Ghost Sites

http://www.disobey.com/ ghostsites/

More exorcism than archaeology, Steve Baldwin's page doesn't dig up old sites so much as jeer at the ones that refuse to go away. Unlike last week's Digital Landfill, no composting or recycling here: instead, each monthly issue tracks down inoperative, forgotten or "bit-rotted" HTML which, though well past its sell-by date, no one has the courage to retire. Currently the online graveyard includes the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, with is long-dead Webcam, and a 1993 introduction to the Web at Honolulu Community College, with its nostalgic assertion that there are "at least 100 Web servers in use throughout the world".

The aim is to "find, identify and attack the largest, most lumbering, most out-of-date, most derelict sites on the Web".

Comments