came into being initially because of legendary glamour queen Traci Topps

JAMES ELLIOTT .com was anti-established very early in the morning on 9th October 1997.

Having had an exhausting evening creating pioneering cyber art on his computer, Elliott was falling asleep on the sofa at around 4 a.m.,when he was suddenly startled by the telephone ringing. He was at his former home in Hampstead, London. It was Traci Topps, legendary American glamour queen calling from Texas.

Elliott : Hello

Traci Topps: Hi James it's Traci

Elliott : Hi, howz you? Erm...... it's 4a.m. here

Traci Topps: Were you asleep?

Elliott : No...... although I probably should be......

An hour conversation followed covering everything from the origins of the universe, to the colour of lipstick and a new subject - the internet. Traci can write html....... which would have been impressive if only Elliott had the faintest idea what it was....

El started firing off loads of questions.

"What's a server?" "What's a host?" "What's a domain name?"

Traci Topps: You should register your name.

Elliott : Why?

Traci Topps: Well, someone else could take it and then you can't have it.

Elliott : Oh....

Traci Topps: Shall I check to see if it is still available.

Elliott : Mmmm....why not?

Traci Topps: Yes it is.......

Elliott : Marvellous.....what does that mean....?

Traci Topps: I could register it for you have a credit card?

Elliott : Yes, but you have to promise not to paint the town with it...

Traci Topps: Well, actually........mmmm........yes.......

Traci registered JAMES for $250 Australian dollars whilst on the phone from Texas to London and much to her credit did not paint the town with El's credit card. In retrospect this was hugely fortuitous, as both 'James' and 'Elliott' are very popular names. The name was left parked on Australian servers for a while.

Elliott connected to the internet shortly after and immediately understood its importance. So he moved the name to UK servers and put up a page about 'Kiss on Frosted Glass'. His first essay on a picture. Amazed at the number of people hitting the site he decided to create a Megasite. The artist looked around what was then a quite small web and observed:

"What a surprise, a website is a website is a website!"

He thought they all looked like office filing systems. Legacy thinking. So he decided to do something original. So the new site was the first ever virtual 3D museum of Art ever put on-line. In fact for years it remained the only site with a 3D interface. Although this was later influential (copied), like almost everything else Elliott does. The original site in the 90s had just two interfaces: Museum Square (now the home page) was originally static and did not have the flashing neon on either side or indeed the futuristic colours.

The Museum Interior was the other original interface - what is now the basic room format. Since it has been online, the site has gone through endless accretions and completely new interfaces have been created. The latest being Scarlet Starlight Stairway. The megasite has now been through over 1600 different versions and now has countless things to explore.

And if you still read things, the site has over 100,000 words written by Elliott, from long storys to four word aphorisms. And for those more visual than aural, there are superb videos and the site can be navigated visually (helpful if you don't speak much English). The website has taken around 2,500 hours of work thus far and the diversity of material is unparalleled There are now over 25 rooms, many having additional interfaces and depth. So dig deep, the site is full of surprises.

This expansion and fine tuning is still continuing today and the site is now hundreds of times its original size.