At the 2015, Chaos Communication Congress, organized by the Chaos Computer Club –Europe’s largest association of hackers, the artist Evan Roth gave a lecture about his newest work in progress–Internet Landscapes. A series of images and videos documenting the physical infrastructure of the internet. Roth is visiting various submarine fiber optic cable landing locations all around the world and documents these landscapes with cameras working within the infrared spectrum, the frequency in which the light carrying data gets send through the fibre optic cables. He is describing his experiences shooting the environment at these areas and also mentions how he wants to force people into a similar experience watching these landscapes through a web browser.
I'd catch myself, like, you know, bending down to the phone again, and like, even in this like amazing environment like I was having a hard time breaking out of that really like rapid-phased sort of click-bait mentality that I'm starting to fall into as well, and so I want these websites to be super super boring, like, more contemplative, more on the timeline of what viewing nature is like rather than what viewing the web is like. (Evan Roth @Chaos Computer Congress, 2015)
Although viewing nature on the internet often works with exactly this rapid-phased click-bait mentality. Yet the idea of viewing nature through a (browser) window or screen is a rather calming experience compared to most other things happening on our screens. And it’s soothing zenny quality is long known in interface design.