zooming into the future

February 27th, 2016

I registered zoomy.net in August of 2000, on a black Apple PowerBook G3 named Spider. I was facing northwest, sitting cross-legged on the floor of the carpeted living room of a small apartment on the second floor of a house in Somerville, just over the border from Cambridge.

I chose the name because it was silly. I thought the internet was an inherently silly place, but that many people were beginning to take it very seriously, and I wanted to push it toward whimsy.

I built the site mostly to hold my independent animation work, and also to play with the internet. The first version used “DHTML” to randomize things including the tagline, which persists in the header today.

screengrab00

I was very into candy corn as a concept at the time, in a stylized form with a rounder, more egg-like shape, rather more like a sunfish, or hand axe, or pear-cut gemstone. I’ve been interested in the link between jewels and food for a long time, as well as everything in that vicinity, including wagashi, and Fabergé eggs, and fruit-shaped Christmas ornaments, and the golden apple of dischord, and the floating fruit in Pac-Man. (Spiritually related, and possibly the platonic form of the idea, is the dorodango. See me after class for more on this.)

I redesigned the next year, with an interface I made in Flash, presided over by the candy corn lifting off as a rocketship:

screengrab01

The next year, in accordance with my increasingly entrepreneurial aspirations, a third site design featured the rocket rendered as a flashing neon sign. The rocket also made an appearance in original livery as the landing craft in Bluebaby:

screengrab02

Fourth year, fourth redesign, with animated candy corn returned to prominence in its original form in the header, but more spritely, here caught mid-bounce:

screengrab03

And the current WordPress design was the fifth, and dates from 2007.

A couple of years ago, I left the world of professional animation, and have since been scratching other long-latent itches in and around the field of cartography. Some of the results can be found at http://fjord.style – I hope you’ll follow me there.

As of today, zoomy.net is retired. Thanks for reading!

ZOOM,
Peter

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