“While the Internetâ€™s design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. The web is undergoing a transformation whose promise is user empowerment – but who controls the terms of this new read / write web? The web has followed the physical movement of the cityâ€™s social center from the (public) town square to the (private) mall. ShiftSpace attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web.
By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions – which are called â€œShiftsâ€?. Users can choose between several authoring tools – called â€œSpacesâ€? – that allow web users to annotate, modify and shift the content of a page and through ShiftSpace, share that shift with the rest of the web. â€œTrailsâ€? are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails might be used as a platform for collaborative research, for curating net art exhibitions, or as a way to facilitate a context-based public debate.”
The ShiftSpace commissions program is a very interdisciplinary competition and the deadline to apply for both the Spaces and Trails categories is: February 25th, 2008 11:59pm EST.
Related: Interview with Mushon Zer-Aviv.