Title of work

Web works1997-2001MEDIA: websites, postcards, pdfs
In the late 90s Jake was commissioned to produce web-based artworks, including collaborative works for Film & Video Umbrella, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the New Geography Federation

Detour, for Slipstream2001For: Film & Video Umbrella
Link to an archived version of the website:

Between December 2000 and June 2001, Jake Tilson nested a series of files on the site of the music and multimedia label owned by Peter Gabriel, Real World. These files consisted of sounds recorded in twenty-five hotel rooms in different locations around the world, accompanied by still images from the same location.
Detour echoed the world music ethos of the host site with an array of found sonic material, which highlighted the spirit of local within the global.
Detour was part of Slipstream - a Film and Video online project. The conceptual nature of work emerged from the evolving relationship between artwork and host, continuing a tradition of artists’ interventions in public spaces and extending that model to encompass the vast digital arena of the Internet.

Tell-Tale Signs, for the.year.dot2000For: Film & Video Umbrella
Link to an archived version of the website: featured six specially-commissioned artists' works inspired by a set of random search results culled from the world wide web and based on words in the Book of Revelations.

The start-up for the project was the 'exegesis' web-crawler, developed specifically for, which performed searches (working to specific parameters) for the 1300 words that comprise the Revelations text. This hypertext archive was divided equally and given to the artists to
make on-line works, using this random array of 'found' text and imagery either as raw material. or the catalyst for 'interpretation'.

Tilsons’ work for the project, TELL-TALE SIGNS, takes the text search results from the "exegisis tool" and re discovers them elsewhere in the world - as a series of shop fascias whose signage panels use phrases that occur in the found text.
The task
There were approximately 127 individual words and 127 double words to work with. The double-word phrases use the original "Revelation" word and the "search result" word: an example is "deathLogin". The task was to find these words and phrases as names of retail businesses and to photograph the results.
The search
After much searching he managed to find eighteen businesses whose company names exactly matched a word or phrase. This was acheived by using online search engines and web yellow pages in different cities. He also contacted friends in various contries and asked them to use their local yellow pages to widen the search. is a Film and Video Umbrella online project funded by the Arts Council of England. With additional support from Eastern Arts Board.
Concept and curation: Steven Bode
Exegesis web-crawler developed by Kathryn Schmitt
supported by the Slade Centre for Electronic Media
Technical co-ordinator: Keith Whittle

ISPY2K1999For: New Geography Foundation
Link to an archived version of the website:

As part of the New Geography Federations’ Millennium Shift project Tilson was commissioned to produce a web work to reflect the possible outcome of the Millennium Bug.

Alongside texts and images the main work was an online map. The online map was constructed with images from twenty-five countries across five continents. When you visited a map online the webpage collected each countries’ image directly from a computer in that country. If every computer were working it would send back an image to the webpage you were looking at. If there was a system or power failure in one of the countries a “broken” image icon would be displayed in that country on the map – showing a potential “bug”. Watch as the terminator line crosses the globe on December 31st 1999.
During the final months of 1999, boosted by various press reviews,
ISPY2K was getting 26,000 hits a week.

Colour-Color, for Curatour1999For: ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

Link to an archived version of the website:

Curatour explores ideas and themes across web sites. Each Curatour explores a different theme and is curated by a specialist within the field.
For two decades artist Jake Tilson has been fascinated with the technical and technological aspects of artistic production. His work utilises colour photocopying, computer manipulation, and the internet. His own experimental web site, "TheCooker", and the site he designs for The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art have both received critical acclaim for innovation and design on the Net. As the title "Colour-color" suggests, Tilson's Curatour II focuses upon the use of colour on the internet from symbolism and theoretical issues to the effects it creates. This specially designed Web site looks at Tilson's own work, and the progression and history of the internet and the use of colour. The site maps Jake Tilson's own on going fascination with the development and limitations of internet technology, using mixture of graphic design, links, quotes, hypertext and history -from grey screens to 256 and beyond.

Undercover, Belgium
Jakes Progress, Liz Farelly, Blueprint.
Jake Tilson-Profile, Graphics International, April
Tell Tale-Signs, Fun With Type, Creative Review DVD.
ISPY2K Websites, Bill Pannifer, The Independent.
ISPY2K, Website of the Week, The Big Issue.
ISPY2K, What’s New in Web Design, Creative Review, Sept.

Restart: New Systems in Graphic Design, Christian Küsters and Emily King, Thames & Hudson.
Net Condition ZKM , MIT Press.
Web Design Index , Pepin Press.
New Media in Late 20Century Art, Michael Rush, Thames & Hudson World Art series.
Investigations in Cities 1977-1997, (monograph), Museo Internacional de Electrografia,Cuenca,Spain, Atlas.

Below: Source material for ISPY2K

Below: Source material for ColourColor

Below: Source material for TellTellSigns