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project name: exposure, how it's done online

project proposal v0.2.1

projects / texts that inspire this work:

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  • Bowker & Star — Invisible mediators of action
  • Suchman — Do categories have politics
  • Turnbull — Maps, narratives and trails
  • Verran et al — Designing digital knowledge management tools with Aboriginal Australians

project one liner:

What does it look like when I load internet pages? Or the hodology of internet loading.

project description:

The internet's initial protocals were all designed in the interests of communications. Each procedure seems to have sevoural sub processes, to ensure connection, reception, and integrity of the transfer. These procedures are all handled by the network and the software clients that serve the user. Meanwhile they all translate to actions or signals that happen on machines, physical machines located around the world.

While the methods for referencing and connecting all of these physical machines toghether is fascinating, one of the main progressions of the internet has been to accelerate it. And with this acceleration, a certain amount of new practices have become possible; serving pages from multiple orginins being one of them. I believe this ability to be the beginning of one of the most controvertial pracices on the web of today, largely dubbed (and also word used by me from lack of deep knowledge) tracking.

The traceroute tool (written by Van Jacobson in 1987) gives an extremely valuable list of the travels of a package over the network, but what other types of data transfer happen nowadays on our faster networks, faster computers and other devices.

The misuse of cookies to benefit targeted advertising will be a clear start point for this project, reading them, understanding who why and when they are used.

I believe that a visualisation tool could live inside the browser to serve as an explanation at first, later to display certain metrics, both in the interest of making visible some sites that may be abusing of the non weary initial communication protocals of the internet.

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