In October 1994 as Erna Plachte artist-in-residence at The Laboratory at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art I was introduced to the company Milo Hedge, just outside Oxford. On my initial visits to Milo Hedge I discussed possible areas of collaboration. These included screen savers and also exclusive works for the internet

I began work on The Cooker.


  TheCookerset itself up in grey space in 1994 and witnessed the monthly onslaught of new tools enabling new ways to communicate and design.

Here are the first screens from TheCooker as they appeared way back when... annotated.

TheCooker 1.0 1994 Mosaic 0.1 beta / SimpleText
Emerging from the pioneer space of dark screens and flickering green text came the first graphical interface to link the expanding interconnecting network (Inter-net) of computers. This early Mosaic "browser" gave limited control over text and its positioning on the screen. Images could not be used. However it was a universal browser that could present the viewer with almost the same experience worldwide !

TheCooker 2.0 1995 Netscape 0.9 beta / SimpleText
By late 1994 images could be incorporated into web site screens. At this time I realised what I had stumbled on. A truely new medium of mass communication that could be used for artistic ends. No-one I knew in Britain had heard of it. I have always utilised "highstreet" technologies to make art. The internet is not a "high-tech" standalone piece of hardware in a gallery, it exisits in peoples homes and is a public space in its own right. This makes it unique.

TheCooker 3.0 1995 - later Netscape 1.0N / SimpleText
The internet lets you be nostalgic about an instant that occured only a few years ago. I still remember the first time I saw a background image on a web site and a background colour other than medium grey. The hundreds of advancements that have occured since then haven't struck me so deeply, except perhaps the ability to specify type faces.

TheCooker 4.0 1996 Netscape 2.0 / BBEdit
The very strange "frames" facility came into being and the much more useful "tables" which allows the designer to control where images and text appear on the screen.

TheCooker 5.0 1997 Netscape 3.0 / Internet Explorer 3.0 / BBEdit
Re-design of the site interface. Features the first Internet Explorer "only" features such as background sound.

TheCooker 6.0 current Netscape 4.0 / Internet Explorer 4.0 / BBEdit 4.0
A complete re-design of the entire site interface using Javascript and Java Applets to random and time based qualities. Further use of sound files and tests using Netscape 4.0s "layers" technology.