The conference exhibition will be held from Wednesday June 19 – Friday June 21 in BG2 (Turfdraagsterpad 15-17). Opening times: 8am-6pm. The exhibition will feature the following artworks, installations, posters, and a few other surprises!

On the Internet Everybody Knows you had A Dog (2015-ongoing)

Olia Lialina (RU/DE)

At this moment there are 650 pages in GeoCities archive that I’ve tagged “dog.” While some of them are pages of breeders and dog rescue organizations, the majority are the websites made by happy owners of little puppies; by proud friends of big and small, well-educated and spoiled-rottenPugs, Retrievers, Beagles, Vizslas,…; and by inconsolable families of dogs that have passed away. The most spectacular ones are collected into a constantly updated slide show. In June 2019 On the Internet Everybody Knows You had a Dog is 216 screenshots of the pages last updated in between  September 1996 and June 2003.

Immerse and remember: before people got into posting pics of someone’s cats, they were making web sites for their own dogs!


Demo: 3615 LOVE (2019)

Marie Molins (FR) and Lionel Broye (FR)

On June 30, 2012, the X.25 based network Transpac used by the Minitel network is shut down. This brings to an end the exploitation of the Minitel in France. Minitel is a french videotex online service accessible through telephone lines produced since 1980. It is considered as one of the world’s most successful pre-world wide web online services. By means of a modem, a keyboard and a 9-inch monitor with no storage capacity, Minitel users had access to a thousands of services: press, directories, banks, sales… From 1980 to 2012, Minitel was a social network forerunner and public service more or less controlled by the French State. Minitel was also a suitable environment for the artists who created artworks especially designed for the apparatus. Indeed, several artists operated within the network and generated artistic and literary creations. Since 1984, Camille Philibert and Jacques-Elie Chabert write « Toi et Moi pour toujours » a Minitel novel, in 1985, Frédéric Develay and Orlan produce the « Art-Accès » magazine and in that same year, Eduardo Kac composes the «Poems Vidéotext ». Minitel was wrongly portrayed as a direct competitor of the Web. The service experienced a sharp slowdown when the Web began to expand and Orange S.A was forced to shut it down, thereby denying all the services but also depriving the artworks from their physical medium.

Through the rebirth of the Minitel, our art research laboratory excavates a telematic service which aims to exhibit artworks that are created and displayed on a Minitel device. This project is called 3615 LOVE. While seeking to rekindle the early telematic artworks and practices, our Lab reactivates a main side of the networks and media history. Beyond conservation and preservation, 3615 LOVE is a platform which enhance the artists to conceive for and by Minitel. Both vector of archives and histories, Minitel captures the technological imaginaries of the early telematic society and invites us to reshape our experience of interactivity, velocity and interfaces.

Please also join for a live demo by Marie and Lionel on Thursday during the lunch session (see conference program for details).


Le Chiffonnier des écrans: web memories and surviving screenshots (1997-2019) (2019)

Gustavo Gomez-Mejia (FR)

Le Chiffonnier des écrans, French for someone who practices “ragpicking through the screens”, analyzes the remainders of 22 years of personal and professional web memories, as captured through a series of surviving screenshots. A research poster diptych displays a selection of on-screen “events” which were documented without knowing that one day they would have a “thicker” social, cultural and historical significance.

The fragmentary and progressive construction of one’s own “accidental” web archives recalls the historical figure of the Chiffonnier. As famously described by Walter Benjamin, any researcher who takes screenshots during his “cyberflâneries” can be seen allegorically as a “a ragpicker at daybreak, lancing with his stick scraps of language and tatters of speech in order to throw them into his cart”. Such “ragpickers” may also follow Souchier & Jeanneret’s “écrits d’écran” theories whenever gathering actual semiotic evidence for the study of digital writings.

Entirely made of archived materials, the diptych features a selection of web memories (inspired by Perec’s “I remember” while emphasizing “infraordinary” details) and a list of 13 thesis on web history (inspired by Benjamin’s One way street). What began as an experiment in revisiting scattered digital materialities may have ended up creating a visual moodboard for research to come.


Oldweb.today (2015-ongoing)

Ilya Kreymer (USA), Dragan Espenschied (DE), Rhizome

The oldweb.today system, originally launched in December 2015, provides an online service for users to browse archived websites using old browsers running in remote emulators. The original system provides 14+ browsers, including early versions of Mosaic, Netscape, Internet Explorer running in Windows, Mac and Linux emulators, as well as more recent versions of Safari,  Chrome and Firefox. The system used VNC to stream the desktop from emulators to the users current browsers, allowing users to control remote emulators. Oldweb.today used the Memento protocol to connect and aggregate web archive content from up to 20 worldwide web archives and present the most accurate reconstructions of a web page at a point in time.

The original oldweb.today system is in the process of being upgraded to a more robust infrastructure and deployment. For this installation, we would like to present an updated version of oldweb.today, complete with audio and improved video rendering. We intend to use the latest web technologies (websockets, WebRTC) to present the oldest websites as authentically as possible based on what has been archived. In addition to the browsers currently available on http://oldweb.today/, we will add several “new” browsers including a version of the very first WWW browser created by Tim Berners­Lee, running in a NextSTEP emulator, and perhaps another unique web browser from the web that was. We can also provide a brief technical explanation of the architecture of the system, including the implications of a multi­archive “reconstruction” of old web sites.


Unerasable Images (2018)

Winnie Soon (HK/DK)

The artwork presents screenshots from Google Image Search results for the search term “六四” (“64”),  a reference to the date of the student-led Tiananmen Square Protest in Beijing in 1989. The most iconic image of that day depicts an unknown protestor known as ‘Tank Man’ facing down a column of advancing tanks. This photograph is routinely censored by authorities and blocked from any search results in China. In 2013, a Lego reconstruction of the Tank Man image started circulating before it, too, was quickly erased. Nevertheless, the image was later found beyond China, and it occasionally prioritizes on the first few rows of Google image search.

With more than 300 screenshots were taken in 2017, the project aims to create a temporal and empty networked space where the thumbnail image(s) move within the hidden infrastructural grid and beyond the screenshot’s frame, examining the geopolitics of data circulation, internet censorship, the materiality of image (re)production through complex entanglement of human and nonhuman parameters.