HTML as Art Pieces?

HTML is traditionally a means to format a document on the web, as word processors are meant to format documents on print (or on the desktop). Non-traditionally, though, some people come up with ways to “paint” with HTML. Here’s an example:

That’s a direct copy-paste of the HTML code for one of Chris Ashley’s creations.

I call it non-traditional because it uses table cells to create the different elements in the “painting”. Ideally, tables should only be used for tabular data. (People who still make table-based layouts, read that again.) The HTML above contains no information whatsoever to justify the use of a table.

Should art for art’s sake justify the use of HTML? Or should we rally at Ashley’s doorstep and urge him to use CSS instead, the way Stu Nicholls and Eric Meyer has?

While I support both the selfishness and practicality of art, there shouldn’t be any harm in experimenting with tools that have predefined usage guidelines. That’s how we ended up creating fairly complex table-based layouts, after all!

3 replies

  1. I agree with Geo. I think it’s important to break the rules when you’re exploring the possibilities of a medium. That’s the creative. That’s the, “Hey look at what (s)he’s doing. I’ve never seen anybody use it that way before.”

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