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Past

Digital Archaeology

Sometimes it takes me a while to get through my old bookmarks. And sometimes I discover something unexpected and comforting. Case in point was Eye Magazine’s post The Past is a Foreign Domain about Digital Archaeology — an exhibition and collection of videos about some of the early breakthrough moments in web design. The show […]

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Past Present

Gadget: Invention, Travel and Adventure

When the iPad was released last year, there were several titles that had strong echos of earlier days of interactive CD-ROMs. Relaxing on a sofa and exploring a new world was much more enjoyable than sitting at the computer where the sense of wonder and adventure quickly transformed into frustration and an eagerness to relax […]

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Past

Underworld’s DVD-ROM

In the late 90’s, Underworld was super-popular among my graphic design and new media friends. It wasn’t just Underworld’s music, it was the way they used visual design and motion graphics as part of their brand, and as a central element in their live performances. They weren’t just music – they were media! And it […]

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Past

Musical CD-ROMs

In the mid 90’s there was a mini-boom for pop-music CD-ROMs. Unlike early titles from Voyager, which tended towards intellectual examinations of classical symphonies, these were moody, artistic, experiences. Strongly influenced by Myst, they let users move through virtual worlds, try to solve puzzles, and unlock special content. Their narratives may have been frustrating and […]

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Past

Urban Feedback

I remember a CD-ROM project from the 90s that was unlike almost else appearing at the time. An ambient fluid flow of images and film, mixed with a unusual collection of audio, it created the feeling of moving through an urban environment. You had only the vaguest feeling of control of it all — almost […]

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Past

Voyager (1989-2000)

Watching this video demo of Wired magazine’s prototype tablet app, I was struck by how ordinary it felt. Yes, it was nice to see multiple pages from the magazine, to move fluidly among them, and for those pages to have some embedded interactivity. But overall it felt like a traditional solution. Are publishers ready to […]

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Past

Lovedisk

One of my very favorite early interactive projects was Lovedisk. I first saw it on a CD-ROM of winners from (I think) the 1997 Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual. Every semester, for a couple years after that, I’d show it to my students who would shrug. I think they thought it wasn’t up to Art […]

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Past Present

Magic Books

When I first saw Peter Greenaway’s film “Prospero’s Books” I was drawn to the innovative use of layering and multiple images to visualize the 24 books that made up the film’s arc. I was inspired. I wanted to explore ways to create interactive books with the richness and complexity as the books in the film… […]