This piece was created in 1996. It was a response to the emergence of the Internet and Online services. AOHELL parodies America Online's difficulties at a time when the Internet was just coming to the forefront of attention for the people of the United States of America. AOHELL addresses a variety of political and social issues that continue to plague us today.
AOHELL appropriates America Online's then current interface in order to illustrate/parody the state-of-the-art for the Internet in 1996. Strangely enough, I completed this work at the same time that AOL had a major system crash in the Summer of 1996. Their entire system went off line. It foreshadowed things to come for AOL and the Internet in general; which today continues to be plagued by bad programming, grand illusions of bandwidth, financial failures, and poor execution of good ideas.
AOHELL was originally distributed on the floppy discs that AOL distributed virally among American Consumers. The program was designed for Macintosh computers and required the user to install the program on their hard drive and then run it. This was also the earliest attempt to create digital art that had an intrinsic value.
I created a limited edition of 100 floppy disks, then signed, numbered, and distributed them. I allowed the program to be freely distributed but only the original owner of the floppy had the actual object of value. Do you still have yours?
On a purely technical note, the photographic imagery in AOHELL was shot with a still video camera, the precursor to today's digital cameras. It was a proprietary format camera created by Canon. The RC250 stored images on a small floppy-style disk and transferred them to the computer via a video image capture card. I like the added dimension and texture of the RC250's images because they retain the video scan lines of the NTSC format.
The original application was created in Macromedia Director version 4.0. It has now been converted to a Shockwave movie for viewing on the web. AOHELL is a 1.1MB download so please be patient while it loads.