Superbad (website)

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Type of site
Web art
Available in Occasionally English
Owner Ben Benjamin
Created by Ben Benjamin
Commercial No
Launched 1997
Current status Active

Superbad is a noted web art installation created by Ben Benjamin in 1997.

It received a 1999 Webby in the "Weird" category,[1] and was one of nine websites[2] featured in the Whitney Museum Biennial in 2000.[3] Superbad began as a test bed for Benjamin's web design for technology corporations ranging from E! Online to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.[4] It heavily samples Japanese popular culture.[4]

The website serves primarily as an artistic work that was produced using the tools and methods of web design. This genre of art is often referred to as web art.

The site consists of a veritable maze of inter-linked visual, conceptual "subprojects" ranging from two-tone and technical-looking to wacky, colorful, and even bizarre. Often a subproject will have clickable elements linked to other pages within that subproject, or to another, or that just provide visual richness (for example, the "follow" subproject has a grid of circles with arrows that follow the mouse cursor; each circle is a link to a different page within the site). Some of the pages contain narrative elements. There are 143 different pages. His main page serves as a hub to all his subprojects. Clicking anywhere on the "bad" will link to somewhere within each subproject. There are no links back to the main page, once in the maze, there appears to be no way out.

TIME magazine cited "the very randomness of the electronic images" offered on the website that lures the viewer "deeper and deeper into its playful maze".[2]

Benjamin sells nothing on Superbad, and received little extra traffic from the Webby award.[1] Up to 10 percent of the 2000 Biennale consisted of various net art projects, marking the first time they were considered "so prominently among the traditional arts", according to Salon.[4] Benjamin "didn't really start thinking of Superbad as art until the art people started finding it", but insisted that the Whitney's selection of his and other web art projects "makes it look more valid to the art crowd. So all of a sudden because it's in a museum it's not crap anymore?"[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Verne Kopytoff (May 8, 2000). "What Webbys Win: Internet awards' effect on bottom line difficult to measure". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  2. ^ a b Anita Hamilton (April 10, 2000). "Clicking on the Canvas". TIME. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  3. ^ Jamie Allen (April 18, 2000). "Internet art on display at Whitney Biennial". Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  4. ^ a b c d Janelle Brown (March 16, 2000). "The Net as canvas". Retrieved 2007-06-26.

External links[edit]