I built my first website in 1998 or 1999 using Geocities’s WYSIWYG editor. I don’t remember much about it, except that it had a black background with green text and I used it to display my art and talk a bit about anime and aliens. Shortly thereafter, my dad bought me a book on HTML 4 and I taught myself to code over a long weekend. I haven’t been without a website since.
In 2006, I registered desaturate.net because it was getting more and more difficult to find decent free subdomains (RIP *.cjb.net). I wanted to get willbaker.com, but it was taken by an ex-hippie who used it for a website (Will’s World, I think he called it) full of photos of his pottery and cars he liked. It pissed me off at the time (they weren’t even his cars!), but I’m glad now to be rutted into something vague and disassociated, even if I still cringe a bit when I remember the metaphorical significance with which I imbued the word as a teen. And besides, the .net TLD has a Web 1.0 vibe to it, which I think is cool.
For many years, I dumped everything I made onto my site, because why not? I was making a ton of shit, and I wanted everyone to see it. But sometime in the last five or six years, I started limiting the work I put up. You’d think I’d remember why, but it’s impossible to keep track of all the kicks and kisses in a 19-year relationship. I removed links to my music first, then my writing, and then, eventually, my art, illustration, and photography, until all that remained was my design work, however arbitrarily I defined that. And so for a few years now, all I’ve really had online is design, despite the fact that it’s probably the thing I do that I’m least excited about doing.
And, as we know, life imitates internet: as I’ve stopped presenting all of my different work to the public, I’ve more or less stopped making it too, resulting in numerous personal crises of intent and, for the first time in my life, a waning general aptitude. D:!
Getting to the point, I’m relieved, reluctant, and ready as I’ll ever be to present to you the latest iteration of my personal website, which I’ve been affectionately calling v100—a version number which, though obviously hyperbolic, likely isn’t so far off. As you can see on the left there, I am challenging myself to include a wide array of my different creations in hopes that sharing them with you will drive me to spend more time doing the things I claim to enjoy, and then, in turn, share the fruits of those labors with you, and so forth.
So, please, take a look around. But forgive the staleness of most of the work. I haven’t gone too far back, both because I’m a poor if not deliberately destructive archivist of my own work and because, as are many creators, I am more disturbed by my own fleshy patchwork creations as they decay while wandering outside my castle walls, groaning and bolt-necked, while I pace around my laboratory, desperately awaiting the next electric storm.
Finally, I want to mention that this is the first personal website of mine which I did not build myself. I somewhat recently gave up coding after accepting that my ability plateaued with my interest long ago, and enlisted my dear friend, Sheldon Lessard, to build this for me. I thank him for his patience and understanding, and hope that our comically overlong development process didn’t add too much salt to his pepper.