Some Background Ideas
What we see in our browsers is based on intricate and behind-scenes technologies that have offered us a new imaginative space. It's a space like a vast architectural structure in which the individual mind is always at the center, a space both public and private, the shape and extent of which can only be fragmentarily imagined.
Bstat Zero grew out of this understanding of the Internet. It opens up to inspection otherwise hidden interconnections among new media web sites, which are its focus, helping us to get some sense of the networked space that new media inhabits.
Using this application
Go to applet
This application is a visual and interactive metaphor for Bstat Zero and the cultural network of new media that it addresses. Bstat Zero is a tool designed to open up the normally hidden interconnections among web sites.
The screen is divided into three sections, top, bottom-right, and bottom-left.
Bottom Right
This is a fully functional implementation of the Bstat Zero software reconfigured in its graphics and some of its functioning for the current application. Among its differences is it use of the window to the bottom left of the screen, where it displays web sites called up when the user changes the primary web site displayed in the span class="name">Bstat Zero Window or clicks on a link in one of the span class="name">Bstat Zero sub-windows which displays comparative results accross web sites.
Bottom Left
Used for display of web sites linked to in the Bstat Zero window (see above).
This section serves as a kind of pseudo-RSS feed and displays in its three small windows images and urls from selected new media sites as well as from the web pages that these sites link to. These images and links will change periodically.
  ♦ If an image is too big for the small window in which it is displayed, click on it and it will pop up full size in a window of its own. Click on any of the urls at top center in order to see the pages they link to.
  ♦ Click on the URL menu item to access a submenu with forward and back items for moving around among the many urls listed in the window.
  ♦ The images change automatically. But you can move around in them yourself by using the Image menu item.
The Bstat Zero Project
Bstat Zero is a cooperative project focussing on new media artists and groups; its purpose is to open up the normally hidden interconnections among new media web sites and so give us some insight into the cultural contexts which make up the world of new media.
It is, first of all, a "log analyzer". Whenever you visit a web site, a record of that visit is logged by the web server. Bstat Zero examines these logs and shows the results in your web browser.
It started out in October 2004 as a small "command line" utility but grew into a set of fully interrelated hypertext views of traffic in and out of web sites. While it shows most of the standard statistics found in web log analyzers, its emphasis is not statistics but on where the traffic comes from (countries, domains, IP addresses, browsers, operating systems), and how it has been "referred" to the site (search engines, search terms, other web sites).
But its most significant feature and what makes it unique is its ability to do "cross-site" comparisons. Bstat Zero comes in two versions, one runs on the web sites of participating artists and groups and the other on On a participating web site, you can view your own results, which are updated daily, and then archived monthly so that you can check back in time.
At the end of each month downloads to its own server the monthly archives from each participant. It's at that the cross-site facility comes into effect, making it possible to investigate the underlying patterns of viewership and use among new media web sites.
In January 2005 Ivan Pope suggested that artists can circumvent the exclusivity of the art market by using the Internet to create a networked culture that opens up audiences to the "long tail of art".1 This idea interested me for its implication that the Internet provides an intersection between the individual and a vast culture of possibility, and fit in with an idea that I had been exploring on the CRUMB mailing list, namely that what defines "net art" are not taxonomies or physical structures but the imaginative relationship between the individual and the network. It was an idea that helped to shape an earlier piece called
In it original design Bstat Zero required access to a shell account and some ability to use the command line. But as I continued to work on the project, I felt it was a significant shortcoming to exclude participants without shell access. This led to a web-based installation and management system. Now, you can download an installer, install Bstat Zero from your browser, and choose to have manage your your copy of Bstat Zero, i.e., once installed on a participaring web site, Bstat Zero runs itself. This is done using a CGI interface. For those who prefer it, however, it is still possible to install and manage Bstat Zero from a shell command line.
Bstat Zero has been tested on a site that serves 1.5 million requests per month, and it begins to lose its efficiency as it approaches three-quarters of a million, though still functional. This is an ongoing issue to be dealt with in later releases and is a result of the fact that Bstat Zero is not merely collecting statistics but creating searchable databases.

1.". See Chris Anderson, who argues that the Internet creates a market for the "long tail" of the marketplace, i.e. for products that conventional retailers find unprofitable.

Joining the Bstat Zero Project
If you are involved with new media arts, either as an individual or member of a group, you are invited to join the Bstat Zero Project.
Go to where you will find complete documentation, a link to the Bstat Zero web application, and a registration form.
How successful Bstat Zero is in mapping the contexts of new media depends on participation. So, you are urged to register if at all possible. But even if you are not planning to register you are invited to visit the home page.
Browsers and Operating Systems
The applet has been optimized for Internet Explorer 6 or FireFox. It also runs in Netscape 6.22 or later and Safari.
For Mac users who are running Internet Explorer the applet appears in an alternate version, which is not the preferred version. For the best results on the Mac use either Firefox or Netscape 7.
The ideal environment is Internet Explorer on the PC.