Cosmic Reach: Chrome extension net art

Cosmic Reach takes the form of a Chrome browser extension that triggers a random image search each time a new tab is opened. This image is pulled from the search term ‘reaching’, generating a display of out-stretched hands grasping forward into the depths of the screen.

Separated from each other during physical distancing and quarantine, social contact becomes ever dependent on digital communications. Although our hands type and fingers scroll, these actions are perhaps more aptly visualised as a hand out-stretched, reaching out away from our own bodies to the sought acknowledgement of others. It’s an act of desire, of the need for social interaction, to feel the life-affirming response of communication. Yet it’s also an image of unfulfilment, an indicator of something missing – the reach is only so because it hasn’t attained what it is seeking.

In the non-theistic practice of Jainism, prāpti-siddhi describes a state in which one can touch the moon with their finger, cultivating the ability for great distances to be traversed whilst remaining grounded in the same position. In a sense, when a new tab is opened, a new search is initiated and a signal sounds from the digital hand that extends beyond the confines of our immediate environments.

A cosmic stretch, an endless extension of the body.

(install link coming soon)

An example screen shot of what the extension can look like in your browser: