Toggler – Luke Harby

Toggler is a new website feature allowing commissioned artists to explore, demonstrate and celebrate the potential of creativity in website design.

As websites become increasingly standardised to ensure familiarity and ease of use for online visitors, Toggler allows artists to champion the role of curiosity and creativity in exploring other possibilities for presenting content online.

Visitors are able to view our website through different lenses by toggling between styles developed by commissioned artists.

The first of our commissioned artists is Luke Harby who lives and works in Northampton.

Schläfli symbol 6, Luke Harby, 2019

Can you tell us a bit about your practice?

I am an artist who uses film photography. My work engages with the act of photographic production and reproduction; the fact (or fiction) that photography is merely representation and that all photographic images are illusory. Given this dogma, I enjoy the act of manipulating the subject using tricks of scale, displacing or adjusting the context, or by vandalising the image in order to rephotograph it.

What interested you in the Toggler commission?

For my day job I am a web developer. In a recent interview I described my profession as being ‘somewhat creative’. Whilst my creative practice is almost entirely analogue, my day to day work is almost entirely digital. However, more recently I have been interested in some sort of crossover. Trying to use my knowledge of code to infiltrate my creative work in some way and potentially blurring the lines between analogue and digital.

Can you explain the ideas behind your approach to Toggler?

When you make a public facing website you have to obey certain rules, you want your content to be readable by as many different people as possible so it can be very strict. What happens when those restrictions are removed? What happens when you present this challenge to someone who does not have to think about such constraints? My hope is that there is room to upset things, to make the browser behave in an unpredictable way, to interrupt or disrupt the content somehow and maybe make something funny or annoying or mysterious, or all three.

CSS has evolved greatly in recent years, we are now in a position where we can import fonts and icons from remote urls, we can inject content using pseudo selectors, we can target specific devices, screens and media. For my part I have used this exercise to inject icons of carrots and poop, amongst other things.

Toggler - Luke Harby screen grab
Toggler screen grab – Luke Harby, 2019

To explore our website using Luke’s commissioned code select LUKE HARBY from the drop down Toggler menu above. Please note Toggler will not affect your visiting experience of the home page. To return to the standard website design, please select DEFAULT from the menu.