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Blog: 64bits Exhibition

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I didn't have much KIP on Saturday night - as previously stated I was FULL of FOOD, but also I was in Nottingham where the shouting in the streets goes on until 4am and the church bells start ringing not long after! Thus it was a slightly bleary eyed Hibbett who arrived back in London on Sunday lunchtime, having spent the morning reading comics featuring Doctor Doom on the TRANE (me, not him). Doctor Doom isn't a nice man, it turns out - who knew?

My day perked up significantly that afternoon when The Features Of My Locality and I went out for an ADVENTURE in E20. We've had lots of flyers and emails about a Cheese & Wine Festival happening in Victory Park (the central area of East Village, where we live - did I mention that we live in THE OLYMPICS? Did I?) so we went for a look. Previous events have featured a few stalls and people vaguely wandering between them, but this one was VAST. Maybe it was because it felt like SUMMER had come slightly early, or maybe it was because THIS event featured BOOZE, but there were HUNDREDS of people there, queuing up for BOOZE and FOOD and/or lounging around on the grass. Say what you like about THE BRITISH, but you can never say we do not make the most of even the tiniest GLIMPSE of sunshine!

It was all very jolly, though as ever I GOGGLED at the idea of people queuing for food in areas where food vendors are plentiful. I see the same thing when I go into Soho - there's always LENGTHY queues of people basically spending their entire lunch hour waiting to get a sandwich from a particular shop, when there are LITERALLY HUNDREDS of other places within a 60 second walk where they could get served immediately. The People In My Line reckons that they must ENJOY it somehow, and that being SEEN to be willing to wait for The Cool Foodstuff is now GROOVY amongst the YOUTH. It seems daft to me, but then I guess that is how it's supposed to be. Anyway, we went to Ginger And Mint instead and had VEGAN CURRY PIE which was BLOODY BRILLIANT. We even got to sit outside, where we had a great vantage point for watching young people queuing and NOT eating. HA! Take that, young idiots!

That done we strolled across the Olympic Park (which is where I live, in case you didn't know) to Here East to see an exhibition called 64 bits about the history of the early internet. It was VERY MUCH within my range of interests, and was DEAD INTERESTING. It was in a VAST space which had boxes spread out across the floor each with an old computer on it showing an old webpage, often surrounded by people COOOING with delight. As the exhibition said, lots of the original websites are now LOST, never backed-up (because why would you, then?) and overwritten/replaced over time. Also, as Steve and I found whenever we were at The Centre For Computing History, there is something WONDERFUL about seeing old computer hardware again. We spend YEARS of our lives interacting with these things and then just chuck them away when something new comes along, so when you see them again it always comes as a SURPRISE how emotional it is.

The BEST things about the exhibition were some large prints by Eboy which, as above, I hadn't seen for YEARS, some ASCII art, and that vector game thingy where you draw lines together, put muscles on them, and try and create moving creatures. I cannot for the LIFE of me remember what it was called - at the exhibition I nearly took a photo to remind me, then thought "No no, I'll remember!" - but it was BRILLIANT to see it again. Back in the late 90s I spent entire DAYS sitting BORED at my desk at Leicester University trying to make a line creature that could totter across the screen. As noted above, I cannot now remember NOUNS for more than 20 seconds, but I could remember exactly how to work the interface on this thing. It was gorgeous!

I only had two complaints really. One was MINOR, in that approx 25% of the exhibits weren't working, but I guess that was pretty realistic for the time they were talking about. The other was that there was rather a concentration on Advertising Agencies and the annoying Flash websites they kept creating. MY memory of the time is that the exciting and FUN stuff was being doing by KRAZY LOONS off their own back, creating amazing things which the aforesaid agencies would NICK for their own use. Also, those flash sites were BLOODY ANNOYING because they only ever worked if you were in the same building as the server where they lived. Trying to access them online was IMPOSSIBLE, even if, like me, you had access to super fast JANET bandwidth. More things like the HAMPSTER DANCE (which was there, and looked LOVELY) would have been a clearer representation, I feel.

All in all though it was a FAB exhibition and I didn't even mind that there was no mention of the first free download single or even early viral videos.

Well, maybe I did a TINY bit, but it was GRATE other than that - go see it if you can!

posted 4/4/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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