Gregory Bringman - Early Works

Architecture: Cities and Software (1994)

The studies below explore the deep connection of urban architecture and auras of geographical place to software architecture and online place.

These artifacts were made in the Fall of 1994, near the dawn of mainstream Internet use. Prior to social media, the qualitative sense of online communities followed from a then-current and ubiquitous cultural metaphor of the information super-highway, which clearly located experiences of place in the fact of the now (virtually) possible voyage, rather than in the fixed site or network into which all social and cultural discourse shall convene.

The notion of "networks" was thus tied much more to the computer science that made them possible. All understandings of the power of what became social media were rooted in or proceeded from sciences of topology and the ways in which nonlinear systems were soon to be deeply embedded in our everyday language and culture.

The small image squares with text are various nicknames for cities and various expanded acronyms for early institutional databases or "expert" systems that I had discovered in my historical research at this time. The animations focus on software architecture about to reach the point when structures commonly associated with dwelling or habitation were now possible to represent within a system of distribution, flow, and recombination, much more like how humans chain together various linguistic utterances.

* Clicking "CITY" and "SYSTEM" will shuffle the names of their respective sections.