On The Web is a translation of Jack Kerouac’s 1957 classic, On The Road, for the modern web browser. This is the fourth time burrough has read Kerouac’s road novel. The last reading was for a handmade letterpress-printed paper bag giveaway project presented at City Lights Bookstore in 2007. In this interpretation, burrough crossed out every appearance of the word, “road” in her copy of the book and replaced it—in pen— with the word, “web.” Based on the assumptions that a road trip facilitates exploration, and a primary function of the browser is to search, On The Web presents parallels between the 50s road novel and the web of the twenty-tens. The new sentences investigate whether modern life and web surfing are reflected in the original road-trip manuscript. In many cases, the work still speaks to wanderers browsing the information superhighway or hitchhiking on the open road.
Each page was scanned and set in a design that reflects the original manuscript scroll, enabling the user/reader to scroll through the text in a web browser. Readers can also skim the book for the word “web” to test its integration into Kerouac’s 1957 context by clicking on the last occurrence of “web” on any page where it is found.