The IP Browser: The Web Starts Here

Google has given us the ranked list of search engine returns. Librarians and editors provide directories, the Web categorized helpfully into topics. There is a third way of navigating the Web, still present in the "next blog" feature of blogspot.com, which recalls early Web rings.

The IP Browser creates an alternative browsing experience that foregrounds the Web's machine habitat and returns the user back to the basics of orderly Web browsing. The IP Browser looks up your IP address, and allows you to browse the Websites in your IP neighborhood, one by one in the order in which they are given in the IP address space. The IP browser has a limited set of features: the user can either click to the next higher IP address or next lower one, using forward and backward buttons. Like a radio scanner, the browser skips over empty parts of the spectrum, incrementing the current IP address upward or downward until the next IP hosting a web service on port 80 is found. In this way, the user is able to browse specific IP address neighborhoods. The IP Browser re-contextualizes the Web as infrastructure within which websites are fit.

The IP Browser is a Govcom.org Jubilee Production, 2008, session on alternative algorithms, led by Alexander Galloway. Programming by Erik Borra and design by Marieke van Dijk. Additional project participants include: Rosa Menkman, Michael Stevenson and Laura van der Vlies.

The IP Browser is supported by Impakt Online, The Slow Web, 2009. www.impakt.nl/online.