404 Error: The Object is Not Online / Erreur 404: L’Objet n’est pas en ligne
11 November 2010 to 6 February 2011, Octagonal Gallery
Canadian Center for Architecture
Exhibition curator: Lev Bratishenko
Comprised of objects from the CCA’s archive, 404 Error explored the translation of objects into online representations. Given the theme of the show, we wanted to make the website as much a part of the exhibition as the physical gallery space, and to flatten the hierarchy that normally prioritizes the physical over the immaterial.
Central to the exhibition was a large table with a number of objects, including books, interactive computer models and a glass toy puzzle. We placed a webcam high above this table, and broadcast this as a live feed on the website. Visitors to the website could move their cursor over the individual objects on the table, within the image of the webcam, to learn more about that artifact.
Simultaneously, an image of the visitor’s cursor was projected onto the table in the gallery. This was not a static projection but a real-time duplication of the user’s cursor, tracking each cursor moving across the webcam and recreating it in the same location in the exhibition space, following the path of the user’s mouse.
Visitors to the CCA could watch how website users interacted with the exhibition, just as website users could see the visitors in the webcam.
To emphasize the physicality of the room’s objects, we played with the material qualities of the signage and labeling. The entry text was run as a massive slab, with the show’s title punched out of it, while labels were printed on thick blocks.
Incidentally, we think this is the only website of its kind that is best accessed by going to the wrong URL — it currently serves as the CCA’s 404 page.