Waxweb is a hypermedia version of the film Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees by David Blair.
Hypermedia, an extension of the term hypertext, is a nonlinear medium of information that includes graphics, audio, video, plain text and hyperlinks. This designation contrasts with the broader term multimedia, which may include non-interactive linear presentations as well as hypermedia. It is also related to the field of electronic literature. The term was first used in a 1965 article written by Ted Nelson.
Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees was the first film on the Internet. Wax is the first independent feature film by American filmmaker and artist David Blair. Released in 1991, Wax was a cult hit, playing cinemas in 26 U.S. cities and had additional theatrical play in Japan and Australia. Wax was a co-production with ZDF, German Television, and opened theatrically to rave reviews at the Public Theater in New York. Wax was included in a number of 10 Best Film lists that year.
The online version of Waxweb has been hosted since 1994 by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. It is an 85 minute movie in 80,000 pieces.
The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) is a research unit of the University of Virginia, USA. Its goal is to explore and develop information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. To that end, IATH provide Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. It cultivates partnerships and participate in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and other groups residing at the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.
The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author and former President Thomas Jefferson. It is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. UVA is the flagship university of Virginia and home to Jefferson's Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the story at the centre of Waxweb Jacob Maker is a beekeeper who designs flight simulators. "One day, the past arrives out of the future, and Jacob enters". The online version enables users to watch the sequences in the order determined by choices made at every step of the way through the story. There is also a CD-ROM version.
A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees.
A flight simulator is a device that artificially re-creates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies, for pilot training, design, or other purposes. It includes replicating the equations that govern how aircraft fly, how they react to applications of flight controls, the effects of other aircraft systems, and how the aircraft reacts to external factors such as air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud, precipitation, etc. Flight simulation is used for a variety of reasons, including flight training, the design and development of the aircraft itself, and research into aircraft characteristics and control handling qualities.
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed optical compact disc that contains data. Computers can read—but not write to or erase—CD-ROMs, i.e. it is a type of read-only memory.
The production has received support from the New York State Council for the Arts. Between 1995 and 1997, technical support (and inspiration for this final version) was provided by RACE Laboratory at the University of Tokyo. An early version of Waxweb ran as a MOO, technically supported by Brown University Graphics Lab students (Tom Meyer, Suzanne Hader, David Klaphaak, and others). Additional software for that version was provided by Eastgate Systems with additional assistance from Melynda Barnhardt.
The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877 as the first imperial university, it is one of Japan's most prestigious universities.
A MOO is a text-based online virtual reality system to which multiple users (players) are connected at the same time.
Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
In the movie, Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, David Blair plays Jacob Maker, Meg Savlov plays Melissa Maker, Florence Ormezzano plays Allelle Zillah, William Burroughs plays James "Hive" Maker, and Dr. Clyde Tombaugh is himself. The movie was created in co-production with Das Kleine Fernsehspiel, a program of ZDF Channel 2 of German Public Television.
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Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, usually shortened to ZDF, is a German public-service television broadcaster based in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is run as an independent nonprofit institution, which was founded by all federal states of Germany (Bundesländer). ZDF is financed by television licence fees and advertising revenues.
The Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo as the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001, in North America on June 11, 2001, in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001, and in mainland China on June 8, 2004 as iQue Game Boy Advance. The GBA was part of the sixth generation. The original model was not backlit and Nintendo addressed that with the release of the redesigned Game Boy Advance SP in 2003. Another redesign, the Game Boy Micro, was released in 2005.
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Open access (OA) is a mechanism by which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other barriers, and, in its most precise meaning, with the addition of an open license applied to promote reuse.
Windows Movie Maker is a discontinued video editing software by Microsoft. It was a part of Windows Essentials software suite and offered the ability to create and edit videos as well as to publish them on OneDrive, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr.
Sophie Okonedo is an English film, theatre and television actress. She began her film career in the British coming-of-age drama Young Soul Rebels (1991) before appearing in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) and Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things (2002).
Bryan Ray "Skeet" Ulrich is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in popular 1990s films, as Billy Loomis in Scream and Chris Hooker in The Craft. Since 2017, he has starred as FP Jones on The CW's Riverdale. His other television roles include Paul Callan in the short-lived ABC drama Miracles, Johnston Jacob "Jake" Green, Jr. in the television series Jericho, and L.A.P.D. Detective Rex Winters, a former Marine from the Law & Order franchise.
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David Blair is an artist working in the fields of video art and digital media. His first digital feature, the 1991 cult hit Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, a co-production with ZDF, German Television, opened theatrically to excellent reviews at the Public Theater in New York, played cinemas in 26 U.S. cities, and had additional theatrical play in Japan and Australia. Blair performs in the film, which additionally features a cameo by William Burroughs. Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees was the first film streamed across the Internet in 1993 with the New York Times declaring it an “historic event." That same year, the hypermedia version of the film, Waxweb, was one of the first sites on the World Wide Web. Waxweb has been presented in museums world-wide.