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

/splash/heath/, 1995/1998
Much of Heath Bunting's work is unspectacular, using black text on a white background and the default blue underline of hyperlinks. Since 1994, Bunting has used the internet as a tool for facilitating interventions in public space and recording the results. This splash page is headlined "Stuff done by heath bunting over the past few years," with mini-stories about actions Bunting may or may not have undertaken. Each one includes a link to a black-and-white, low-res photographic illustration.