000 - NO MEN'S LAND A composition by cym
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No Men's Land - A project by cym

Technical Description

cym has been working as a webdesigner since 1996. Since the creation of her first website she has closely followed the new technologies in webdesign. However, in most of her work she chooses to work only with the HTML 3.2 standard, with the addition of style sheets. A main reason to do so, is to make the work accessible, without the use of any special plugin or additional program, for as many different browsers and platforms as possible.

In her project 'No Men's Land' cym takes a photo in a real life situation and then creates a digital, abstract image from the original photo. This abstract image is created entirely with HTML, the language used to create websites. Each abstract image is an HTML table of 640x480 pixels, with only a small transparent image to fix the sizes of the table cells. The abstract image therefore is no longer an image, but only a piece of HTML code. Texts in the original photo are designed with the use of stylesheets. Each abstract image is made entirely by hand. The abstract images are not created through a special filter of an image manipulation program. The abstract images are also not perfect copies of their original photos, but new compositions made by cym based on the photos captured in reality.

During the process of creating the abstract image cym decides which elements in the original photo will be emphasized and which elements will disappear. Each image can be seen as an individual composition, a painting, constructed only with HTML table commands. The selective use of colors and the limitations of the HTML table give each abstract image its special atmosphere or rhythm, that is not easy to reproduce when working in a medium without borders. The compositions are connected together in the form of a website and form an online reconstruction of cym's travels along the Central European borders.

The project 'No Men's Land' is accessible without any special plugin, and works on any platform with any browser that can handle style sheets. Preferred screen setting is 1024x768 pixels (or higher), with (minimum) thousands of colors.


The easiest way to navigate through the 'No Men's Land' project is from the starting map. Red dots on the abstract map show the real life locations where the original photos where taken. Clicking on one of the spots shows you the abstract composition made from the photo taken at this location. To see the the original photo on which the composition is based, click 'view source'.

One of the ideas behind the 'No Men's Land' project was that it should be possible to view the website also offline, for example in galleries, running the site from a cd or local drive. Therefor one of the restrictions in the construction of the page was not to use any server-side programming, like PHP. This makes it possible to run the website independent from a webserver. For the future a separate offline and online version were planned, the online version with a more interactive navigational map, but until now, also the online version is still hard-coded, plain HTML.

The project 'No Men's Land' is initially set up as a website, but there is also a presentation in video-format and in book-format. Technically the images are no longer HTML tables when presented as a video or printed in a book, however many people still feel more comfortable with browsing images inside a book than browsing images on a website. Since one of the ideas behind the 'No Men's Land' project is to make it accessible without the needs of any plugins or special programs, the book offers the possibility to view the project without the use of a computer at all...

Website address: http://nomensland.eu/


©ym 2004-2006 | cymspace.net | Last modified: Son, Oct 21, 2007