In the world of Netherlands-based artist Jip de Beer, websites are three-dimensional landscapes, as varied in terrain as a mountain pass or a canyon. The student at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen created Web Spaces, a series of 3D-printed sculptures based on the design structure of popular websites, as The Next Web reports.

First, he created a browser plugin that maps the hierarchy of different elements on a webpage (similar to the structure of folders saved on your computer’s hard drive) and assigns each element a color based on how far down it is in the hierarchy.

Then, he took those colorful maps and printed them, making them into abstract elevation maps. The automated design of these sculptures led him to “discover urban landscapes, or structures resembling alien space stations,” he writes.

Using a custom-built automation program to generate the 3D designs, the artist created three-dimensional maps for the home pages of some of the most valuable domains on the web—Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more. He printed them out of materials like gold and bronze, giving them a sculptural panache worthy of their market value. Rather than websites designed for you to chat with friends or check news, they look like fortresses or castles. Which seems like a pretty apt metaphor for the power that sites like Google and Facebook wield over our lives these days.

Facebook

Google

YouTube in bronze

Wikipedia in copper

[h/t The Next Web]

All images courtesy Jip de Beer. Web Spaces is produced as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development in a co-production of Kitchen Budapest and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media, with support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.