There is no lack of spiderwebs out there in the world today. In fact, lately it seems that any 8-legged critter with half an idea and a little string to shoot out its butt can achieve a level of fame formerly reserved for hair bands. But with the almost obscene proliferation of spider artists out there today, we still face the same problem today as people looking at spiderwebs have faced since the dawn of time: How do I know that any given spiderweb is any good?

Luckily, you have me to review the best spiderwebs out there today, so when you go outside, you don’t waste your time looking at one that basically sucks.

Here is a cross section of a few of the most innovative spiderwebs currently on display on the campus pedestrian footbridge at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

IMG_0026

A classic. There is no doubt that this spider is a fine technician, and is fully devoted to tradition. The side-by-side duplex web effect here is making a larger statement about reproducibility and standardization, and yet the overall effect remains pleasing to the eye. Still, I’d like to see Spider 1 taking more chances and stretching his or her vision in new directions, which his or her technical prowess could clearly sustain.

IMG_0023

A classic with some attitude. The lines here are not perfect, the angles somewhat askew. This is a spiderweb with a voice, and a point of view. That point of view may be that this spider is a bit demented, but that merely adds to the excitement of this web that is bursting with promise. Can’t wait to see more from this spider.

IMG_0022

Daring use of space. This web is like the guy who sits on the subway with one leg sprawled in front of three seats. It’s the manspread of spiderwebs, bold in its relative sloppiness. I’d like to see this spider commit fully to the vision he or she has started. Why not take over three or four bars, not just two? Not a bad effort, but it also doesn’t seem finished.

IMG_0024

Elegant, restrained, with geometric Art Deco influences. A good start, but I want more. It seems like this spider had one good idea and decided to call it quits. Unacceptable given the considerable evidence of nascent talent.

IMG_0025

Minimalist. Definitely making some sort of point about the values and projections that we, the viewers, impose upon the art that we seek to restrain and categorize. Ha ha, the joke is on us.

This is the haute couture of spiderwebs. We get the point, but no one will ever use this. It verges on silly.

Overall, this bridge is worth a look, or if you’re nowhere near Wisconsin, you can try a bridge closer to where you live, or maybe go poking around in your own apartment/garage/castle to see what the spiders near you are up to.

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