Art & Culture of the Web

A new track for the Mozilla Festival 

In the autumn of 2014, art-hacker Paula le Dieu and I convened the Mozilla Festival’s first Art & Culture of the Web track to explore emerging connections and tensions between open digital technologies and creative practitioner communities. We believed that as internet connections became increasingly ubiquitous around the world, more and more web users would experience unprecedented opportunities to transition from experiencing the web as consumers (watching a TV show, buying a book on Amazon) to experiencing it as creators.

What would happen, we wondered, if we released a call for submissions centred on the concept of a “living gallery” that would be co-created by participants for 48 hours — a place where each artwork would also offer up an invitation to build something new? We combined the ‘Art of Web’ gallery with a series of hands-on creative workshops, which were facilitated by a diverse set of organizations from Creative Commons to Rhizome, the Internet Archive to the TATE Britain, and Aalto University to Europeana. 

In total, the track resulted in 1,000 visitors joining us to help build the gallery over 48 hours; 600 copies of our guerilla mini-zine created and distributed; 30 new public domain gifs; 12 skill-share workshops; 10 generative artworks by 10 global artists; a new Minecraft fontface; and a series of paintings co-created with a troupe of drawing bots - each of these experiments in (re)interpretation leaving us feeling very inspired. I wrote more about the outcomes of this endeavour on Medium, and the bot-artists at Meemoo also wrote this piece.