The modern Web has a will - good user experience - widely use in as shorthand for efficiency, usability, utility, performance, accuracy and productivity. It unlikely these are words many would use to describe Transmission or measure the success of its work.
So we took time to discuss how an artist run space in Glasgow can interface with the World Wide Web. Where technology can alleviate the manual admin involved with running a gallery on a day to day basis we've embraced it. To support the human-human interaction that defines Transmission we've given members more interactivity in the new site. Amongst other things we've re-designed member's pages, added a full list of available resources and the ability to manage personal information. It's hoped these improved functions will enhance what membership of the gallery offers for everyone.
A less pragmatic inspection might appreciate the new website as artefact of a 12 month conversation between a web designer and the gallery in all its guises. The process - part commission, part purchase of service, part collaboration - has continuously exposed the Web and its modes of production to be as fallible and idiosyncratic as the gallery itself. The development of the site has been paralleled by historical research into to the Web and visual work with the Transmission archive, revealing common ideals in the utopian origins of hypertext, the hacker ethic and deviance as a strategy of resistance. Its shown code to have politics and exposed a space for criticality in the production of the Web.
Belying the rhetoric of code then end product is, like Transmission, only human. It's imperfect, sometimes rough and months late - but it does works on your smartphone.
Struan lives in London, works as a web designer and studies MA Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths.
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