>> Mirror Comments Hack

Things are not always what they appear to be. This assignment asks you to challenge the assumptions of a web surfer by mirroring a site and subverting or changing its message and/or appearance. One of the exciting things about the web is the "flattening" effect. A large multinational corporation or government web site takes up as much internet "air space" as a personal home page with pet photos. As a web designer you have the power to express free speech online, and to comment on what is already out there.(Occasionally you may bump into lawyers, but as the first hackers said, "information wants to be free.") Of course if you take some information or intellectual property that someone has distributed freely and use it for your own financial gain, or invade somone's personal privacy, or hack for shady ethical purposes (personal vendettas, hate crimes, for governments...) this is another matter. These ethical questions should be considered by net users and designers, and artists.

Anyway, for this assignment you may want to choose a site to comment on whose valuses, products or message you disagree with, and through "mirror site hacking" illustrate the fallacy of their opinions. Or you may want to take a more critical, more humorous approach and parody a certain kind of site, multiplying its effect through exaggeration. Or you may begin from an aesthetic design perspective, hacking a site in a way that is pleasing in terms of interactive or visual aesthetics, approaching it as a kind of decolloge assignment.

1. Begin with a site that has already been made. You can copy the code through view source and click and drag images to your desktop.

2. Change aspects of the site, text, images, html, javascript...

3. Insert "comments" into the html that subvert the meaning of the site and can only be read with "view source" on a browser. Comments can be seen as a programmers form of literature--they can be humerous, insightful, personal and quircky.