re|quest

Everyone searches the web. It's easy, clean and fast. You type your query, hit enter and the browser gives you what you were looking for.

We performed this simple action on the most popular search engine in the most popular browser and recorded what happened underneath the surface. When a website is loaded in your browser it consists of several different parts: the HTML markup that describes the structure of the elements on the page, the CSS that describes what these elements should look like and usually some javascript that is code that can run in your browser. The javascript code is divided into functions specialised on a small action and these functions call each other to form more complex actions. A webpage commonly fetches many pieces of javascript code that interact by calling each other's functions.

The graphs presented here outline the function calls being performed during a search for "software art". Five of the most active scripts are portrayed with one line representing a function call being performed during the 10 seconds long data collection period. This is a small subset of the data collected, but may provide some insight into the complexity of something so simple as searching the web.

We are working on sonifying the data, a summary of our experiments so far:

The code for this project is on GitHub