How the Web changed the world

Last summer, the National Media Museum in Bradford began a search for artworks for its new Life Online Galleries, which are being designed by NRN Design.

Live Portrait
Live Portrait of Tim Berners-Lee (an early warning), by Thomson and Craighead

The £10 000 open commission was launched to find an artwork that would help shape the design of the galleries, which will examine the social, technical and cultural impact of the Internet.

The winning commission, by Erin Newell and Phil Bird, is 1 and another. Online visitors to the 1 and another website (which is yet to launch) will be able to create a pixel-by-pixel image using a grid. This ‘blueprint’ will then be will then be delivered to visitors in the gallery space, who will attempt to build it in real life.

Also going on the Life Online Galleries is Thomson and Craighead’s work Live Portrait of Tim Berners-Lee (an early warning) which is a pixellated portrait of the web’s founding father, created from live web-cams, updating in real time. The artists say the work ‘will focus on the threat to net neutrality’.

Media Suite in the Life Online exhibition
Media Suite in the Life Online exhibition

Meanwhile artist and designer Ross Phillips is creating Read Aloud, which will invite readers to perform a line from a chosen book. This will be added to other recorded lines until the book takes shape.

And art collective Networked (a group of ten young people aged between 14-19) are developing the System Overload work, a film piece which uses writing, pixelation and stop-motion animation to create a representation of the Internet.

The new gallery is set to open on 30 March.

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