Trail Blazers Web Surfing Contest
There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. – Vannevar Bush, 1945, As We May Think, The Atlantic
Today, the great hypertextual WWWeb is becoming more and more constricted by increasingly expanding online services. For example: Which portal is still setting more than 2% external links? What roles are Google and Facebook playing? And how do you actually get out of Amazon? In short: Not much value is placed in networks in the Web any more.
The Trail Blazers web surf contest emerged from this problem, when The Beautiful Zeros and Ugly Ones were researching together with Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied at Merz Akademie Stuttgart in 2010.
In seven rounds, eight surfers are sent to specific trails they must complete only by clicking real hyperlinks. During each round a surfer drops out. If after 15 minutes, more than one surfer is still working to reach the goal, a rush to cat/gif/earth-images speeds things up. No keyboard, no Google, no copy/paste … just real hyperlinks!
Keeping in mind that networks should once change the world, Trail Blazers is certainly a playful proposal to explore the Web's networks again. But much more it is an offer to users: Surf along the most hidden trails to find the strangest things and have a good time.