Not disrespecting the work or net artists (the second narrative to the web)

This is about embedding a criticality about our work in our work. Its born from the same thing as net art but it can live inside a regular website without conflict

Transmission site cannot just be a glorified piece of net art, it has to serve a community functionally

Where the annotation is placed should influence its criticality. Not counter to transmissions mission, but would be to larger, commercial organisations

Sinclair and I have had a website for years, an empty box called Perimeter Fence, which last time I looked had been visited by 50 people in the previous month. We are slowly getting around to doing something with it — the intention is to produce a combination of map, maze and post card, something at any rate that tries to take a website beyond the initial stages of storage and tundra. Something that short-circuits the marketing culture we’re stuck with. Otherwise you join the commissioning queue. An irony of the digital age is that as communication gets quicker, the process has got slower. Dealing with the BBC is now like the 19th century and the court of St Petersburg. They’re all in meetings, on courses or curating the next stages of their careers, trying to negotiate a side-step into academia.

Petit, Chris. "De-Googled: Chris Petit" first published by 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Most of the Web adheres to, and reproduces the 'functional paradigm' - a position that a website is either a platform to communicate information or sell a product, and regardless it should do one of these things 'without making the user think', meaning it realises its ends in the most efficient, usable and logical way.

I want to propose three logics of the functional paradigm and describe where they came from:


Visual design -

User-Experience design -

Technical design - Extranious characters in the code, such as comments and white space are removed (a process called minification) to reduce the size of files the user has to load into their browser. Reduction of load times becomes increasingly important when you consider that over 50% of Web searches are now made on mobile devices - through inherently flakey connections, using costly personal data allowances. Moreover, well written programming code is considered to be svelte and efficeient. Inventive solutions to programming problems can reduce the processing power required to achieve a task, and be written in fewer lines of code. Many programming langauges promote the use of re-usable and flexible functions, which allow the developer to use the same snippet of code to achieve multiple different tasks across an application.


Visual design -

User-Experience design -

Technical design - Though efforts are made wherever possible to increase efficiency, protecting the readabilty of programming code is paramount in allowing it to be universally interpreted and understood by other developers.


Functional websites measure engagement in metrics, like total pageviews, the average amount of time you view a page, the amount of pages you view in a session and the amount of shares or likes generated by a page or piece of content.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with the Commerical Web - the work of these actors does not prevent others from using the same technology as means to different ends. Whilst the overwhelming presense of this approach may be argued to set the culture and common wisdom about how to use the technology, an objective and independent body called the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) sets Web standards and nurtures its technical development.

Critical approaches to the Web