chapter  14
Generation Flash
Pages 10

This essay, which comprises a number of self-contained segments, looks at the phenomenon of Flash graphics on the Web that attracted a lot of creative energy in the last few years. More than just a result of a particular software/hardware situation (low bandwidth leading to the use of vector graphics), Flash aesthetics exemplifies the cultural sensibility of a new generation. l This generation does not care if their work is called art or design. This generation is no longer interested in "media critique;' which preoccupied media artists of the last two decades; instead it is engaged in software critique. This generation writes its own software code to create its own cultural systems, instead of using samples of commercial media.2 The result is the new modernism of data visualizations, vector nets, pixel-thin grids and arrows: Bauhaus design in the service of information design. Instead of the Baroque assault of commercial media, the Flash generation serves us the modernist aesthetics and rationality of software. Information design is used as a tool to make sense of reality while programming becomes a tool of empowerment.3