Jay Zehngebot


The Catacombs of the Internet.


Dynamic Web Development

The Skullwall is pre-viral and pure evil. SKULLWALL.COM offers a persistent location on the WorldWide Web which humbly aims to provide a brutally-awesome, co-creative, potentially transcendent experience. Skulls, graciously rendered by the fiercely imaginative hands of our mysterious user base, are respectfully stacked into a never-ending cascade of villainous creative output. The stupid-simple drawing tools and rigid page structure presents basic constraints (shackles, really), in which the dastardly Skull Klub must work. Members of Skull Klub are also able to distribute candles, the eternal sign of respect, to the drawings they particularly enjoy. Candle-littered Skulls are generally acknowledged for their strong pull, killer name, unique backstory, or undeniable aesthetic strength.

Skullwall is terrifyingly transmogrified into our three-dimensional analog world via a gateway called Print, where the visual dreams drawn online are made manifest and awfully distributed, to wreak havoc on otherwise boring bedroom walls and stiff office spaces. Skullwall is seeking a Demon Round of funding.

Skullwall was hugely inspired by research into the ASCII and ANSI art scenes of early BBS's, and is also informed by the problem of overcrowding presented by the Duck Pond, my first venture into collaborative, creative spaces online. Skullwall's formatting is so simple, in part, because I'm imagining skullwall three, five, fifteen years in the future. A mainstay on the net, accruing piles and piles of creative output over time.

My first memory of the cinema was the opening scene of Terminator - the bed of skulls, then a skeletal titanium terminator foot crushing them. As a young guy this moved me. Approximately a few years later I am in high-school, visiting Paris while applying to art school. I discover the Catacombs. These images stick with me.

Myself, 14 years ago.

User Scenario
I'm wearing a skull-mask. I ask people to step right up and donate a (their!) precious skull to the SKULLWALL. People (kids!) spend a moment drawing on the skullwall - Perhaps I encourage them to FILL THE ENTIRE CANVAS, or tell them that their skull needs another eye socket. Or maybe they should add blood, or boogers. No Words or Letters! "Sign the skull with your SOUL!". I have Rare and Unique prints for sale, if people want to take home their own chunk of SKULLWALL. I sell out. Also, if people look like sharks or venture-capitalists, I hit them up for Demon-Round funding, Looking to capitalize on the Pre-Viral condition of skullwall.

Its made of tubes -Tubes on the internet running Node. I've fired up some server instances on Heroku to handle potentially mind-blowing traffic. I'm thinking I have a computer-tablet on which people draw, while behind me a large monitor shows the entire current Skull Array - SKULLWALL. Also arrayed on the wall are the screen-printed Skullwall Posters, to build general excitement.

I discovered what building a modern, dynamic website is like. I found an outlet to inject my personal voice on the net, and how to make that vision real. Thankfully, I haven't broken a ton of things that console.log wasn't able to help me fix. I learnt....

Node, Front-end Javascript and Jquery, Backend MongoDB setup, S3 Buckets on AWS, and more.