Unlike most browser-based art, "Prototype #38" isn't interactive in the conventional sense. Clicking or moving your mouse doesn't change what you are seeing. Yet, what you are seeing is, in part, determined by the actions
of unknowing others.
The column of words at the screen's center shows live search engine queries. A custom engine retrieves queries and then automatically submits them back to another search engine. The project then parses the results and displays them intermittently at the page's bottom. Search engine result activity triggers sound and animation. The search results can be delayed because the engine sends and receives information in real time with no buffer. Also, because the queries vary by nature, it is best to view the piece for at least a few minutes at different times.
Reminiscent of a Geiger Counter or an oscilloscope, "Prototype #38" attempts to uncover the ebb and flow of an unseen tide of spirituality that resonates throughout the Internet. The project picks up spiritual terms spanning multiple religions and cultures and rates them on a high-to-low scale, in effect presenting a random picture of the spiritual state of the world at any given moment.
C404/Yoshi Sodeoka: concept and design.
Sean Rooney: sound, ActionScript and PHP programming.
Special thanks: Natalie Ammirato and Andy Cooke.