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 Valery Grancher, 1995/1998
An animated .gif at the center of a white page flips rapidly through personal pronouns in a distillation of the internet's social dimension. Valery Grancher's minimal animation suggests dissolution of the ego in the collective use of the internet; the "I" is so thin that it becomes indiscernible in the quick succession of group identities. Grancher established nomemory.org as a platform for showing his work in 1995, and has been active as an artist and curator ever since. He conceived this page in 1995 and contributed it to Rhizome's splash project three years later.