Martin Hand suggests ‘flattened forms’ of cultural production, blurring the differences between cultural production and consumption. He gives the example of You Tube, Wikipedia,Facebook which usher the flattened form of cultural production, the blurring.
I would like to argue that depending on the mode of visualisation, a 3-D representation of the various networks illustrates ‘depth’ and models intensity, illustrating the nodes of communication, interaction. Although I accept that what he refers to possibly is the ‘form’ and not the ‘contents’ of these communications. Still, I am not quite sure how flatness can be associated with for example You Tube which can support many uploads on the same topic (say for instance a band, political views, art, history)
There is a discussion (led by art critic Clement Greenberg) with regards to abstract art, in relation to figurative art, illustrating flatness
abstract art utilises the flatness of the media,the canvas, as a feature of art, the 2 dimensional plane. In a similar way one can argue this is true for Web-based communications.
The concept of flatness is an intriguing one, part of a tradition of dealing with images and their visual analysis.
The project was programmed in Java. It can be decomposed in three main parts. The first part is a web crawler (sometimes also called spider or robot) that is used to grab the structure of the web sites. The second part is responsible for the analysis of the log files. The third part, realized with Java3D, controls the 3d visualization.
Webtracer represents this structure as a three dimensional molecular diagram, with pages as nodes(atoms) and links as the strings(atomic forces) that connect those nodes together