“Bio Bak,” a Bizarre, Interactive Romp Through Web’s Hallucinatory Hijinks
Open landing at Bio Bak, one is immediately presented with a host of questions, and none more pressing than, “Just what the hell is this?” And after the initial shock: Why does the French-accented narrator with a megaphone for a mouth have such a long, pimpled tongue? Will the crabby, foul-mouthed metal detector ever wake up again? And don’t those kids know where jam really comes from?!
Such is the chimerical world of Dutch web designer Coen Grit, whose gritty, phantasmagoric creation defies the boundaries of art and websites. It is at times a game, a still life labyrinth of connected and seemingly random creatures and situations, and other times an interactive landscape that begs for exploration.
You only have one cartoon hand to navigate and grasp around, though once past the initial objective, you’re able to zoom out to see the full cornucopia that is Grit’s world. It is at first difficult to take in, but after a while the nuanced details—the simultaneous little movements and dances, the depth of sounds as they increase and decreases when zooming, the hidden art and characters—start to pop out and you begin to understand the shear work and genius put into Bio Bak.
Yet what’s more impressive is its age. While web designers have the luxury of HTML 5 these days, Grit created the website with now reviled Flash software. Which isn’t to say Bio-Bak is as old as it looks—it was recently updated to feature 1000 megapixels. So now those fuzzy, bizarre anthropomorphic creatures are now clearer than ever before.