Created for the ZKM exhibition net_condition, the Net.Art Browser is an augmented reality installation that interactively positions virtual information in the physical space of a gallery or museum. It hybridizes the private act of surfing the Internet with the public display of the websites visited, placing them like artworks along the surface of a museum wall.
Its physical construction is a set of rails mounted on the wall, along which a motorized video monitor can travel to various positions that are marked with the names and URL’s of net artists. The curator Benjamin Weil selected these websites for this exhibition.
The viewer uses a cableless keyboard to control the movement of the monitor in either direction, from one website position to the next. Once the monitor is in position, the viewer is immediately connected to that particular website, and can then use the keyboard in the artist’s prescribed way to explore the site.
Since its invention in 1999, this ‘linear navigator’ concept has been further iterated in various configurations and contexts, including the ZKM Anniversary Browser, the CityU Creative Media Centre Navigator and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s Pacifying The South China Sea Scroll Navigator. Chris Ziegler also used it to present his 2002 interactive artwork 66movingimages.