An online exhibit surveys the impact of technology on late-twentieth-century art.
Jane Austen's place in cyberspace.
What questions are on our "most complex and sophisticated minds"?
Sites of the Year
A look back at our favorite sites of 1997.
Video Gets Real
Streaming video that goes beyond entertainment.
Speaking in Tongues
AltaVista gets serious about global communication.
Weird News Is Good News
How our eccentricities can bring us together.
Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.
Grave sites aren't what they used to be.
Making the eSCENE
Must fiction be print to be hip?
For more, see the complete Web Citations Index.
January 28, 1998
If you fear that the Web has dissolved into a homogeneous mix of vertically scrolling, cookie-cutter sites, take a trip to Eye Candy -- and prepare to be inspired. Part art exhibit and part commercial design portfolio, it is one of the most selective and reliable sites in the burgeoning business of reviewing other sites. As the name implies, Eye Candy's choices are made only for their design and interface excellence, not for their substance -- so if you find anything impressive outside of the realm of the visual, consider it a bonus.
Even before you check out any of the honorees, Eye Candy's clever but bewildering interface may stop you in your tracks. Figuring it out is worth the effort, though, as a major tenet of its creators' philosophy is that exploration for its own sake can be fun. In the "freshies" section the most recent additions are clumped together indiscriminately, with disturbing and experimental interactive art reviewed next to corporate sites from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Sara Lee. After a few months, the reviews are moved to the archive, where they are distributed into "content," "commercial," and "promotional" categories. This makes it easier to find what you're most interested in, but also takes some of the fun out of the grab-bag appeal of the more recent reviews.
Eye Candy's intended audience -- Web designers and developers -- may be among the only ones who can appreciate the finer technical points brought up in many of the reviews. Nevertheless, as you cruise through the archive of site after stunning site, you will be reminded of the day not so long ago when you first discovered the Web, and stayed up late into the night asking yourself, over and over again, "O.K., now what happens if I click here...."
Copyright © 1998 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.