1.
I read the Arse Electronica web journals for my new media class last semester. Within the first chapter you can already tell how smart and fancy these guys are just by how many big-words they drop.

Imagine a gang of unemployed graduate students from all over the world, smoking dope with a thesaurus in their laps while trying to out wit each other on topics of space, robots, the Internet, light bulbs, you name it, all via chat room. Seriously, geeky intellectual organizations like Arse Electronica should stick to figuring out artificial intelligence for robots, finding the secrets to old Star Trek episodes, and talking about how neat Stelarc is. They need to leave the website critiquing to people with taste.

The criteria to what makes a good website is close to the criteria that makes a good resume. You have about 4 seconds to catch the attention of the viewer or else the viewer will go to the next site. The graphics, the type, the layout, all needs to be pristine or the viewer will surf on.

I admit that some of what goes on at Arse Electronica is actually a bit interesting, but overall the technical-stoner-chater-nerds need to move out of their mom’s basement and leave the web art critiquing alone.

I chose my two picks because I was already a fan of the sites before seeing their links on Arse Electronica's winning sites list. Someone from the design world must have slipped these guys a note with a few bomb links because everything else on their links page was lame. Actually, I think there were only two or three other winners with links. How do you have a web-art without a URL? Whatever.

So even though Rhizome's Carnivore site is in cahoots with the Arse Electronica crew, it comes in second. It's clean. It's hip. It's classic use of logo designs from the late 19th century British arts & crafts movement mixed with some Bauhaus/ modernism type with a dash of contemporary imagery.....ahh that's all bullshit. It's just a dope layout.

Numero uno comes from those beautiful Brits over at HiRes who flashed up this movie website masterpiece. I have only two words: 'FUCKING RAD'. You will just have to check it yourself. Be cautious, it's got secret passwords like Zelda so don't lose your place in line.