Sites at the Edge of the World

Honours Work 2022
Sites at the Edge of the World is an interactive investigation into storytelling, narrative, and world-building that draws on the aesthetics of the early web to explore the performance of self in online spaces. The work is comprised of the personal websites of five Speculative Identities – ‘characters’ developed entirely by generative code and AI text completion models.

This project was completed as part of the UTS Design Honours program. Thank you to my advisor Andrew Burrell and my peers in the 2022 Viscom and Photography cohort.

Enter Sites →

Resembling early 2000s Geocities sites, the pages embody a kind of making that has drifted to the unmediated spaces at the outskirts of digital civilisation, collaging together archived imagery and found code to form a reflection of our collective history of internet habitation. A user can sit down at any computer in the world and trawl through pages of blogs, shrines, and ‘about me’ sections crafted for the Speculative Identities, choosing to follow the entangled web from one persona to another, or focus in on the details of each site until the edges of their real-ness are revealed.

The work was central to my practice-led Speculative Design research, which explored ‘alternate presents’ as a nascent approach to the field. Sites at the Edge of the World sought to question current paradigms by applying new ideologies to contemporary technologies, and contribute to our understanding of the practice by centering personal introspection rather than prescribed critique as the desired outcome of Speculative Designs.

I acknowledge the Gadigal people, who’s unceded land I live and work on. Always was, always will be.

© Sophie French 2024