This Is Not an Error

Our friends at Newhive have recently tapped seven net artists for the exhibition This Is Not an Error. Bringing together a diverse group of new media artists – from anonymous twitter personas to established critics and practitioners in the field – Newhive has curated a series of speculative 404 error pages.

The artists “redefine the idea of the boring 404 page and recontextualize what error means. Can a glitch be the art itself: a portal to a new experience?”

The collection serves as a concise survey of the many diverse ways in which dead ends online can be considered, addressed, and aestheticized.

browse the collection

The collection opens with work from new media artist Terrell Davis, featuring a throbbing club beat and sneering Nicki Minaj advertising Newhive’s fictional new energy drink “Butterfly.” With deals promising a remastered Björk album for sale at participating “Butterfly” vendors, Davis engages ideas of adspace, celebrity endorsements, and the appeal of ‘diva’ through a spectrum of magenta and ASCII butterflies.

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Jon Satrom’s bleached error spaces mutedly express a post-human inclination to the error field: empty white expanses with shuttering logos for broken image links, tangoing alongside Newhive frames expanding and contracting ad infinitum. Satrom’s additions to the Error collection invert the conventions of Newhive’s designer-friendly interface to create a quietly unsettling realm. The frames almost appear to be breathing, awaiting the arrival of web surfers heading toward an inevitable back-end.

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The 404 page from Jeanette Hayes (seen at top of post) collages traditional sculpture and painting of male lamentation with animated gifs from contemporary pop culture, charged with the essence of an detonated tumblr page. Pope John Paul II, Ice Cube, Stephen Colbert, and others peer out from their cyclical prisons as Britney Spears takes us back to 2000 in a glitched-out rendition of “Oops I Did It Again,” a reminder that bad user experiences ultimately derive from human error.

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The mysterious and artful net presence LaTurbo Avedon, curator of the online gallery Panther Modern, presents dazzlingly rendered sculptures, slowly spinning before an error file message, complete with ubiquitous ‘triangle/exclamation point’ and fine print. Included is a Chamberlainesque Lamborghini and Coca-Cola mash-up, cheekily titled “COKE-LAMBO-TEDCONFERENCE” (not pictured). These oddly pacific error pages, eerily QVC in their presentation, propose avenues of vague narrative in their presence: a botched Ted Talk, a damaged trophy, and the future of 3D printing.

Also featuring work from Adam J Kurtz, Molly Soda, and SoSadToday.




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