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DESIGNGRAPHIK

In 1999, I wanted to have a place to explore and test the boundaries of online digital art as we entered the second decade of life online. What exactly did digital art mean as interactivity became the new normal and new animation and interface capabilities became prevalent? What was possible when the predominant tools of digital design were used in different combinations?

As I explored these and many other questions, I regularly published the results under the name Designgraphik.

Whether that was on the web at my own site, other outlets like Submethod, Vir2l, in print, or on various hard media, the goal was always the exploration and testing of boundaries, with the presentation under circumstances that I controlled. The environments were my own proprietary creations, which led to being able to continually reimagine: what was web design? What was interface design? The work was nominated for and won numerous multimedia and online design awards, until I shut the doors in 2010.

In those early days, the space was the wild west. Now, as we enter the fourth decade of life online, that frontier has been settled and demarcated. Online publishing has all been ported into social media outlets, where content gets cropped, compressed, formatted, influenced, ranked, rated, disgraced, embraced, hacked up and backed up, ultimately stagnating forever in a dark corner of a data center.

And so I am re-launching Designgraphik 20 years on, with the original goal intact: a personal journey to explore the boundaries of online digital art in an environment that I can control. Content is posted in a manner of my choosing, free from ratings, rankings, comments, schedules, formatting restrictions and free to access. Slow down, remove the noise, remove outside influences, second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning.

There is no end date, no deadline, no final product goal and no end game for Designgraphik. The process: the bugs, the errors, the glitches, the workings, the findings, the discoveries, the changing of the route and the continuing mission down a road less traveled. Tonight we’re gonna party like it's 1999, again.

Michael Paul Young, October, 2019