Splash art originated in the 1940s in comics, where the term referred to a full page of visuals at the front of a book. Pages were designed to engage the reader's imagination along the lines of the comic's broader concept, while standing independent from the narrative. In the late 1990s, when the widespread use of the application Flash opened up new possibilities for animation and interactive media, the idea of the splash page migrated to web design. Online splash art brought visual excitement to a webpage when low modem speeds made it impractical to post large or moving images amid a site's textual content.

Rhizome introduced splash pages to its web site in 1998 in order to display artwork with greater immediacy....

Launch Project

Technologies to the People: Art Cryptography Tools, 1998
Daniel Garcia Andujar's Technologies to the People was a net activism project with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. It purported to bring cutting-edge technology to the homeless and impoverished-a darkly humorous form of social commentary that showed the holes in promises of equality and democracy made by the internet's early boosters by reminding its audience of people who don't have access to or use for the web. Andujar's ironic "sales pitch" for Art Cryptography Tools, made as a splash page for Rhizome, says: "Encryption is your only weapon when you're living in an armed camp. Get yours now!!!"