BstatZero.orgIn February I began what I thought was going to be a small command-line utility to use on my own web site for retrieving some of the web data and stats missing from what's provided by my web hosting service. The command line utility grew into an increasingly larger set of utilities with a web-based interface that uses the hypertext capabilities of the browser to move around among and display the data. I initially called it bstat ("browser stats").
At first, I would start my record-keeping all over again at the beginning of each month, in effect throwing away the previous month's results. But then I implemented procedures to archive each month's results, enabling me to look back in time. That is, I could select which month I wanted to review and view it in the browser, using all of bstat's tools.
Once I could do this, I knew I had something more interesting on my hands than just a personal tool for seeing what's happening on one's web site. I realized that I could just as easily include the archives of other people's sites The upshot is Bstat Zero, which is aimed at "new media" sites. The idea is to see how these sites are accessed--that is how people get to them, from where they come, how often they come, etc. It's an attempt to see how the net creates a culture of inter-connectedness.
You can go to the Bstat Zero page at:
Bstat Zero will be presented in Februrary 2006 on the Whitney Museum of American Art's Artport series. It's also been nominated for a Viper International Award.
I've been working with the web since the initial appearance of the Mosaic browser in 1994. I can still remember my excitement at how a simple stream of ascii text transmitted over a network as HTML could produce a page of graphics-based text and images. I became an active member of the Internet art community, started up the now senescent Manitoba Visual Arts Network (http://www.mbvan.org/), was an early participant in rhizome (http://www.rhizome.org/) and, already using computers in my work, began making work for the web.