The first photo on the Internet. Here it is, in all its glory:
Next Wednesday, July 18th, the photograph at the center of that image — a homemade promotional shot for Les Horribles Cernettes, a comedy band based at the CERN laboratory near Geneva — will turn 20 years old. Despite the artifact’s world-historical significance, its full story has never been told. Few enthusiasts of art or photography or technology will be marking its 20th birthday, in no small part because it’s such an odd and un-artistic image.
“It’s sort of terrible and charming,” said Lesley Martin, a photo scholar at the Aperture Foundation, after being shown the image for the first time. But she added that that’s par for the course with photographic firsts. The first known photograph, for example, was of a semi-visible rooftop, seen through a window.