For those who are not intimately familiar with HTML and CSS: read Jon Ducket's HTML & CSS. The whole thing. Please. I've uploaded a PDF on our drive account. If you can, buy it in print now.
Go through Learn Layout.
Read the short section on hierarchy in Ellen Lupton's Thinking With Type.
In 1960 Clement Greenberg captured modernism's essence as "...the use of characteristic methods of a discipline to criticize the discipline itself..."
Create a website composed of five or more HTML pages, linked together in some fashion, all sharing a CSS file. The content may be linear, interconnected, or hierarchical. Each page must contain an image and some text. If you wish, consider your proposition in relation to the permanence and/or ephemerality of information online. Feel free to deviate from that theme as long as you retain some critique (or analysis) of the web as form, medium, or source of culture. Come prepared to defend your work's intention. If the images or text are taken from a source that is not your own, I will ask you how the act of appropriation and your understanding of copyright fit into your thesis.
Simple HTML and CSS harken back to the early days of Net Art. Take a look at The Place by Joseph Squier, My Boyfriend Came Back from the War by Olia Liali, and Ada Web. How contemporary do you find these works?
The Dia Art Foundation and the Walker Museum are among only a handful of institutions devoted to the preservation of otherwise obsolete web art.
Take a look at George Fifield's syllabus for his Interactivity in the Arts class here at RISD.