The Hiroshima Project is a network based information project
It is a guided tour through the World Wide Web, taking the visitor along World Wide Web sites all over the world which have information about the atomic bomb on Hiroshima 50 years ago and its commemoration in 1995.
The tour is structured like a documentary television series would be, but it's non-linear, interactive and open-ended, and can be accessed like a database or catalog.
The Hiroshima Project not only gives information about the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the 50 years thereafter, it also informs about the information on the atomic bomb (which informs about the non-information as well). It doesn't just show the valuable information, it also shows the non-interest, the denial and the ignorance.
It juxtaposes geographical and cultural opposites, crosses boundaries between perpetrators and victims. It shows how the world is currently dealing with this event, and with the life-threat that the knowledge of production of atomic bombs imposes on us.
The Hiroshima Project shows how this theme has been transformed in literature, film and the arts. The project converges into, circles around and leads back to one central document: the book 'Black Rain' by Masuji Ibuse. This book confronts the reader with the incomprehensible by means of poetic experience. The context is no longer global - on the contrary, in this book the context is very personal: individual humans are confronted with the brute energy unleashed by the atomic bomb explosion, and one by one they undergo the devastating effects this energy has on them.
The Hiroshima Project incorporates:
- an information trail through the World Wide Web
- a local database of information (in cooperation with Barbara Geschwinde)
- a pointer to the home page of the interactive installation "Vbody Rbody"
(by Akke Wagenaar, Masahiro Miwa, Michael Hoch & Matthias Melcher)
- a reference database
The visitor of the Hiroshima Project can follow the order given by the Hiroshima Project - if he or she does the whole tour it will take a couple of days.
But the visitor can also follow his or her own order, using the navigation buttons, and approaching parts of the Hiroshima Project by choosing chapters and subjects.
Because each page of the Hiroshima Project has the same graphic layout, the viewer knows whether he or she is inside the Hiroshima Project, or outside of it, in one of the documents somewhere in the world to which he or she has been linked.
Creation of the Hiroshima Project
Search engines (software available on the WWW, used to find documents existing globally on the Internet) were used to search for and collect around 2000 documents from all over the world, which were dealing with the subject of Hiroshima, the atomic bomb and its effects. The documents were then brought into a structure called 'The Guided Tour', in order to create an interactive scenario and facilitate access.
The Hiroshima Project consists of around 150 pages, each page containing several links to other home pages on the WWW. Pages and links within the Hiroshima Project are ordered by subject.
The Hiroshima Project does not add new information to the WWW - it orders the existing information which was unordered and chaotic before. Information became the basic artist's working material.