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CULTURE

Dream the End

An online gallery streamlines the interaction between users and content

by James Thorne
on 15 November 2011
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Hastening to bridge the gap between traditional media's tendency to over-curate and the Internet's overflow of content, Melissa Jones has relaunched Dream the End, an online space for art, music, poetry and film. With a homepage curated by guest editors, the site will update regularly as new virtual "editions" are released. The content comes from a mix of emerging artists and lesser-known figures from the past, with exclusive mixtapes available for streaming. It's a great way to escape from quotidian demands and browse creative interests without the deluge of commentary and criticism.

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Dream the End is unique in that it isn't set up in a rational, linear browsing interface but rather resembles a cloud, with content scattered around a page lacking typical navigation features. Clicking on a piece of art will take you to a gallery of that artist's work, and selecting a few lines from a poem will show you the piece in its entirety, accompanied by a blurb about the artist. The "random view" button at the bottom of every page redirects to a new homepage with different content, so the browsing possibilities are endless. All the while, because the site's streaming music isn't page-specific, visitors can enjoy listening to new music while they explore other mediums.

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The widely appealing art selection includes an impressive range of works, from Sean Kerman's "Female Lying," a muted image Jones excerpted from a '70s-era photography reference book on the human figure, and "Hand," a recent piece by Chinese artist Hai Tien that harkens tranquil tropical flowers; to the more contemporary styles of Belgian artist Raoul De Keyser, whose minimalist black-and-white piece "Ad B4" juxtaposes with Rupprecht Geiger's bold "Geist Und Materie 1," an example of artist's late geometric-inspired work, which he painted at the age of 96.

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"As an antidote to the increasingly chatter-driven online environment, I wanted the design of the site to be a uniquely distilled sensory experience," says Jones in a press release. "Dream the End is where people can see what's good and hear what's good, and not just read about it." The success of Dream the End lies in its simplicity. The layout requires users to follow their interests around the site without worrying about what is current, relevant, or otherwise popular.

Refresh!, the first edition of Dream the End is now live and ready to browse.

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