30.03.17 - 21.04.17 64 Bits: An exhibition of the Web’s lost past

Admission: Free

Billions of people use it on a daily basis - but do you know who invented the search engine? Would you be interested to browse the world’s first ever website? Have you ever heard of Susan Kare?

64 Bits is a fun, interactive recreation of the early years of the web. As part of a wider digital archaeology project, it seeks to plug gaps in the historical record by telling the stories of the forgotten artist engineers that shaped today’s digital culture. Take Alan Emtage, Barbadian-born inventor of the search engine. Billions of people use the technology he created on a daily basis but very few know his name. The exhibition includes a working version of his first search engine, Archie.

Equally significant, is the work of designer Susan Kare. Her icons and fonts have been seen by billions of people, yet few know her name. The exhibition incorporates a selection of the key milestones in the career, including the original Macintosh icons, the MacPaint interface and the Microsoft Solitaire playing cards.

These are not isolated cases. Many pioneering examples of digital creativity from our recent digital past can no longer be seen. Files have been lost or stored on redundant media. People have passed away. Companies have gone out of business. Stories have been lost. 64 Bits explores these forgotten roots and offers alternate histories.

A key part of the exhibition is an open-door digital media archiving service, supported by the British Library, where artists and designer can bring in obsolete media for us to migrate inaccessible historical artwork to a modern format. Where appropriate, the excavated work will be exhibited as part of the exhibition. 

64 Bits celebrates the formative years of digital culture:

Dates and times:

30th March to 21st April 2017

Monday to Sunday 12-6pm

Thursday 12-8pm

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