- Nicolas B.
Imminent disappearance of the original Nola's key site
Some time ago Adobe announced the end of the development of its Flash Player plugin on December 31, 2020. It is with this tool that I had created the first website of Nola's key entirely in Flash animation and still accessible - unfortunately not for long - at nolaskey.free.fr. This programmed disappearance of the site due to the end of the Flash plugin is an opportunity for me to come back to its creation, closely linked to that of Nola's key.
First of all, you have to know that when I started to create the site, around 2005, there was no real online editor like Wordpress or Wix, with their infinite list of preconfigured templates. You had to create and code everything yourself locally on your computer from scratch - from scratch as they say in some circles, or ex nihilo in others - then host the files on an online server. Writing this, I feel like I'm 112 years old and talking about the last century. But that was only 15 years ago.
The site was complicated to update and maintain. So I finally abandoned it in 2013 - while still leaving it accessible - and created the current site you're on, which is easier to update, but also more conventional.
If you want to (re)visit the original site, I advise you to do it from a computer and not from a smartphone (the site is obviously not responsive at all, nor optimized for smartphones or tablets), to install the Flash Player plugin and to use preferably the Firefox browser.
Once on the home page, you will have to click on the "Nola's key" logo at the top to access the next page offering a long introduction text.
At this stage, there is often a natural selection between motivated visitors and the others since it is necessary to read the whole text, or at least to guess that you have to click at the end on the word "go" in red, to go further... or not.
The most observant will have noticed the absence of a dot at the end of the text. The devil is in the details and observation is surely an essential quality to visit the site. A bit like life itself.
The site has several hidden links leading to animations, text complements and other surprises. I will reveal some of them at the end of this article. Once you understand the principle, it may be easier to find the key.
This site was for me the foundation of the Nola's key project and will always remain so. This is where it all started. I considered it as an artistic object in its own right, the opportunity of a meta-entity able to gather all kinds of creations: musical compositions, visuals, videos, texts, lyrics, thoughts, etc., but also articles discovered while surfing the net, links to sites, books, movies, etc., things that seemed to me to be exciting and linked together by the same thread, that of creativity, ingenuity and openness. Things that went to the end of themselves, and seemed to me to transcend a little bit this great incomprehensible and at least fascinating schmilblick that is human existence. A great catch-all in short, a universe, mine, that I dreamed paradoxically coherent and mysterious, while possessing the capacity to touch the greatest number.
Even if I suspected that it would eventually disappear one day (if only because technologies are so "new" that they tend to become obsolete regularly), I still imagined that it could last a few more decades - until the end of my life, to be sure - and become the witness of a long-term project, built laboriously but passionately, over time, page after page, piece after piece, bit after bit. In my wildest dreams, someone, one day, would discover it, a little by chance, years after my death, as we rediscover in the bottom of an old trunk in the attic of our parents who have grown old, that old vinyl that marked our childhood, and that we delicately put back before closing it up again with a key.
Whether Nola's key will still have a meaning without this site, I don't know yet, but probably not... Maybe there will still be some ruins scattered in an abandoned internet, buried under a numerically luxuriant and impenetrable vegetation. Maybe, long after all of us have disappeared, the Wayback Machine* will have preserved a few snippets, a few fragments, probably unreadable for those who will discover them, but nevertheless witnesses of what will have existed and which is no more.