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

rhizome splashed by Entopy8Zuper!, 2000
Entropy8Zuper! was a collaboration that joined Auriea Harvey (entropy8.com) and Michael Samyn (zuper.com). Together the pair produced internet art and web design from 1999 to 2003, at which point they took a new name. Harvey and Samyn were known for their use of virtuosic use of Shockwave to produce immersive entertainment. In their splash page, a pump moving up and down causes the browser window to shake; their coding tricks produce online effects that mimic real-world laws of physics.