Every Element Is an HTML

Jamming with the raw materials of HTML.

Site. GitHub.

February 2022.
Los Angeles, California, USA.
Website; video.
Handmade web; play.

On this webpage, every element displayed on the page, 86 in total, begins as an <html> element. As you click on different elements, you can turn everything on the page into an instance of that element, and you can verify this by using Inspect Element. For example, you can click on “Every element is an a.” to turn every element into an <a> tag.

I had initially made this as just a website or interactive text – sort of idly interesting – but then I started to play it as a game, where you have to click through every element sequentially as fast as you can.

Interacting with it like that was super interesting and fun! Default CSS values for HTML elements provide a lot of variety, switching within display values (inline, block, even table-cell, which makes you have to scroll) and spacing and typography, and so on.

The different input elements are the wackiest ones. <iframe> is difficult to get out of because I think it doesn’t register clicks inside the <iframe>, but you still can get out!

This was inspired by Evan Roth’s All HTML (also on Esoteric Codes. That piece was such a fun structural experiment that blew my mind and really made me want to play with the raw materials of HTML Energy.

This was also inspired by the hilarious The Angle Bracket by Laurie Voss, which all went down in this Twitter thread. (The website is also super worth checking out for the design & snarky commentary & bonkers one-element website demos.)