Hello, World! /
In Hello, World!, Alice Guidi takes a dumpster dive into the digital detritus created after the unceremonious closure of GeoCities by Yahoo in 2009.
Founded in 1994, GeoCities was a free service that allowed anyone to create their own page on the World Wide Web in exchange for selling advertising on its users pages.
Features like thematic neighbourhoods, guestbooks and the ability to leave comments on other people’s pages turned GeoCities in the most popular proto-social network of the 1990s.
Five years after it launched, it was the world’s third most-visited website and was bought by Yahoo! for around $4 billion. After the sale the site was dogged by a string of unfortunate events and missteps. GeoCities was accused of selling personal data to third parties, the neighbourhoods system was dismantled and then the dot-com bubble burst. New social media platforms also began to emerge.
Yahoo! decided to close GeoCities with little notice and delete its 38million user-generated pages. The day after the deletion GeoCities had disappeared from the main search engines. But digital archivists swore to preserve as much as they could. Ten years later, millions of GeoCities pages are available for anyone to download online.
Confronting issues around data ownership and privacy, and questioning the value of our digital artefacts, Hello, World! is an exploration of cyber junk.
Using the contemporary social-media phenomenon of the hashtag to resurface data from the GeoCities archive, the project invites us to reflect on the evolution of digital information and society after 25 years of the internet.
Quantitative Data Analysis / Diego Alberici
Text / Anna Winston
Curated by Martina Muzi and Joseph Grima
Graphic Design / The Anderen
Installation, Book, Video, Digital printing on textiles