Les Horribles Cernettes, the CERN-linked musical group whose image was the first ever on the Internet, will be playing a last-ever concert on July 14 to celebrate the photo’s 20th anniversary.
The image contains a photo of a comedic musical group known as Les Horrible Cernettes, which consisted of both admin assistants and significant others of scientists at the CERN laboratory in Geneva.
The first photo to ever be uploaded to the Internet is, not surprisingly, pretty underwhelming.
The image, uploaded by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1992, was edited on a colour Mac in version one of Photoshop and saved as a .gif, according to Mother Board.
Now the rudimentary photo is experiencing a rather small-scale revival as it celebrates its 20th birthday on July 18.
“It’s sort of terrible and charming,” the New York Daily news quoted Lesley Martin, a photo scholar at the Aperture Foundation, told Mother Board after she was shown the picture for the first time, as saying.
Silvano de Gennaro, an IT developer at CERN, took the photo of the Cernettes while he was backstage at the Hardronic Music Festival, an event organized by CERN”s administrators, on July 18, 1992.
“When history happens, you don’t know that you’re in it,” de Gennaro told Mother Board.
The musical group, which became pretty popular among members of the European physics community in the early ‘90s, caught the attention of Berners-Lee when he befriended one of the group’s members, Colette Marx-Nielsen.
Marx-Nielsen was also part of an amateur operatic society that Berners-Lee belonged to. He was a pantomime for the group, often dressing up for audiences as a woman.
When Berners-Lee began developing a new version of the World Wide Web that supported photos, he turned to de Gennaro, who had been playing with the Cernettes photo on version one of Photoshop.
“The Web, back in ‘92 and ‘93, was exclusively used by physicists,” de Gennaro said.
“I was like, ‘Why do you want to put the Cernettes on that? It’s only text!” And he said, ‘No, it’s gonna be fun!’” he said.
Berners-Lee then uploaded the image to a Web page about CERN’s musical acts without issue, changing the way the Web looks forever with one seemingly insignificant photo.
The original version of the image has since disappeared. The Mac it was edited on died in 1998.