That the internet lacks organization and structure to the point where it’s disorganization requires search engines to sift through countless numbers of pages to arrive at the sites whose interconnectedness is the most densest matching the search criteria is a problem that can perhaps be achieved spatially. Emergent systems, such as brains, cities, cells and ant colonies differ greatly from the internet in the fact that individual components (cells, neurons, people, etc) are able to organize and resiliently reorganize from the bottom-up. This bottom-up process uses relatively simple rules by looking to their neighbors for their instruction-sets and vice versa their neighbors are influenced by their moves, whereby complex patterns begin to emerge by the interaction of millions/billions of local level relations. Cells at the moment of creation during the embryonic stages of human development have no distinction as to their particular function in forming the Body, but rather look to their neighboring cells for instructions as to their individual task. If a cluster of cells are busy creating an ear lobe, the new cells will also begin assembling in this region to create the ear lobe based on their instructions, pulling blueprint from the DNA code. Likewise, if cells in the lobe region are at capacity and another function is needed the cell will look to the DNA for instructions as to which task is to be performed next. The combination of this feedback and organization between neighboring cells creates the complex structure of the human body. Similarly bottom-up emergent systems can be found in cities; neighborhoods where businesses aggregate, where the social classes become striated, and where vice and corruption can be found spanning centuries. It is the twenty-first century problem to break out of industrial top-down methodologies and to embrace to the complexity of bottom-up biological assemblages.
Unlike city, the internet currently needs search engines so that the information appears organized into distinct clusters of organization, when in fact the internet is a gigantic unorganized distributed network mass of interrelated pages and websites. These HTML-based websites offer only one-way communication between each other through their hyperlinks, where one page that is linked to another receives no feedback from the other site which would lead the site to organize from a bottom-up level. It could be possible for each page to send a signal out into the network stating its typology and affiliated network connections, likewise it would receive information from it’s nearest neighbors as to what their typology and network connections are. As this process is repeated throughout the network the pages begin to assemble themselves in clusters, like neighborhoods of a city, or neurons creating regions in the brain to perform specific functions for the human body. The information would begin to organize itself in a manner that needed no search engines in the traditional sense, and upon changes to the overall network, the internet could begin to reassemble itself and react to any disturbances–the ability to ‘bounce-back’ as a robust-system.
The information found in/on the internet is accessible only through two-dimensional webpages and search engines–designed for the society of the spectacle–immersed in a world of screens and windows; where search engine results are displayed as text and hyperlink, a very static and unemotional experience at best. The computer itself, in relation to the television and the cinema draws our nervous systems deeper and deeper into a state of transfixiation, holding captive our parietal cortex-numb to the physical realities surrounding us and neglecting our other physiological systems. Day-after-day we often peer into a box displaying shapeless/spaceless information–devoid of physical interaction. To remediate this status the informational ‘screen’ must be disposed of, bringing the information out of the box and screen, the the point where data is overlaid within the physical world. This technology requires no headset, no retinal-lens or cortical implants, but is interacts with the atmosphere that surrounds our bodies and interacts with our senses on a spatial level–Clu has just left Tron.
Between the disorganization of the web and the need to draw our nervous systems away from the spectacular gaze of the illuminated screen, trends point toward a web that is spatial, where information can not only inhabit an ephemeral realm of electronic data that we “experience” through a two-dimensional interface, but one that inhabits the X,Y, and the Z of the physical universe. This environment allows information to be spatially organized in a way that can be inhabited and searched through, a landscape built of pure information. From a dense mesh of interrelated but non-organized information to one of an interconnected spatial matrix, regions and clusters of related patterns form. An information city is born, existing simultaneously within the fabric of our matter-built environment. Verticality is increased as individual pages display the amount of links shared between other site, the amount of networks they share displays the height of their structure, however, in this bottom-up process it will become unpredictable as to how the information of the web will ultimately organize itself. Similarly the amount of connections shared with other sites relates to their proximity.
Through this bottom-up algorithmic process, neighborhoods organization and cluster as distinct zones proliferate. Unexpected patterns emerge as a global consciousness begins to coalesce–the realization of the Noosphere. In conjunction with technologies of Augmented Realities, people (no longer just ‘users’) inhabit a physical-virtual matrix spatially and atmospherically dispersed within the physical environment, where cities of information are sorted through and explored like a neighborhood in Venice or England, creating a more intuitive and serendipitous manner of ‘searching the internet’. The information becomes a spatial matrix, a new architectural-typology (collapsing professions of the physical and virtual architypes), where software architects and designers take on a new collaborative role, as designers and architects not only design the physical realm we inhabit, but neighborhoods and cities of information that create new spatial zones within the physical fabric. In fact, perhaps this realm is more out-of-control than our own, where 21.4 million new structures are exponentially constructed every year, eventually overwhelming our physical locals. Virtual cities begin to overlap with our physical cities–as projection technologies in AR increase and electro-magnetic-photon-manipulation rivals the visual ‘realness‘ of physical objects, virtual cities grow without distinction from their physical counterparts–by 2050 we are no longer able to decipher the physical from virtual matter.