2013, Multi-media project: posters, printed t-shirts, vinyl wall text, bumper stickers.
“I am interested in subcultures at the point where they break through and become difficult to ignore. … I get a sense that this is happening now with the computer underground, particularly with all the interest in the internet and online communication. . . . [w]e’re in a new era.” (Iain Softley, director of Hackers, 1995)
The Hottest Hacker Chicks in Internet History and other Cyber Girls is a multi-media project that uses visual and linguistic tropes from well-known television shows and movies from the mid-90s to look at how early web users were portrayed and perceived in the fictional realm. The reference material used in the project—crime scene dramas, made-for-TV movies, public service announcements, sitcoms, and big screen movies—roughly spans the first five years that the World Wide Web was available on a consumer level. This material illustrates the fear, caution, interest, and finally acceptance, of this new technology, and with that, an expanding vocabulary to talk about it. The Hottest Hacker Chicks in Internet History and other Cyber Girls captures the emerging language of the first years of the World Wide Web. While some of the vocabulary established during this era remains part of our lexicon, the way in which we talk about the internet and online culture has changed, and much of the language—both visual and linguistic—used during the mid-90s has now revealed itself as transient and antiquated.
The Hottest Hacker Chicks in Internet History and other Cyber Girls is comprised of several small projects that come together to form a larger narrative about these archetypes and codes and provides an opportunity to revisit our not-so-distant past.