Emergent is a generator of Internet image collages and a
true web "browser" in the sense of allowing casual and random exploration
of the World Wide Web. Emergent tears images from their original
documents and recycles them into a novel experience. Advertisements,
corporate logos, web camera photos, and even pornographic imagery
are all juxtaposed to suggest curious new meanings. Unrestricted
by purpose, Emergent wanders into the web’s darkest recesses
and provides the user with a random sampling of all that the Internet
has to offer. Emergent is the poo poo platter of web browsers
- users are encouraged to try something new and, though not always
palatable, the experiences are at least fresh.
Traversing the Internet entirely on its own, Emergent collects
the URLs of every image it encounters and utilizes random subsets
as source material for its collage generation. These collages are
dynamically updated as old images are replaced with new ones from
increasingly disparate sources. The result is a constantly changing
montage of images from widely varying websites, the juxtaposition
of elements from across the world, and the creation of an ever-changing
At the same time, every component image of Emergent’s collages
maintains a link back to its on-line point of origin. A user may
click on any particularly interesting image to pull up the website
whence it originated. In this way, Emergent becomes a non-directed
web browser, presenting the user with the opportunity to discover
web sites that might otherwise be ignored or missed.
Emergent’s behavior can be manipulated to alter the user
experience. Parameters of collage generation such as the number
of images utilized, the method of placement, and the speed of replacement
can all be varied from a rapid-fire single image photomontage to
a slow (or even static) collage consisting of hundreds of images.
The user may also impose control over the web crawling functionality
(to point the crawler to or block out particular web sites).