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The Internet Archive is helping these artists get inspired by digital history

The Internet Archive is helping these artists get inspired by digital history
[Photo: courtesy of the Internet Archive]

The Internet Archive, the San Francisco-based nonprofit digital library, is perhaps best known for giving the world the Wayback Machine—that very useful service that lets you look up all those emo Tumblr posts your ex-boyfriend wrote and then tried to delete. (Saved forever, buddy!) But while the site’s main focus is to preserve our digital past, it’s also working to create a future through its artist in residence program.

The Internet Archive visual arts residency, which is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani and Andrew McClintock, is designed to connect artists with the archive’s 40 petabytes of digitized materials. Over the course of the yearlong residency, visual artists are tasked with creating a body of work that makes good use of the archive’s expansive collection of digital arcana. The hope is to connect digital history with the arts and create something for future generations to appreciate online or off.

Now in its second year, residency has put together a new exhibition of work by artists Chris SollarsTaravat Talepasand, and Mieke Marple, who each drew their inspiration from different pieces of digital history. Marple, for instance, was inspired by a Facebook quiz titled “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You?”

If you’re in San Francisco between July 14 and August 11, head to 1275 Minnesota Street, Suite 105, to check it out. Perhaps one of the artists has already turned this beautifully crafted website into a work of visual art.

You can learn more info about the exhibition here.

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