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Gallery 404

Gallery 404, exhibits as it appears today - exclusively specializing in broken artworks, launched Nov 2020, run by David Schmudde. (Description via Monoskop)


Digital artifacts are trivial to copy but very difficult to preserve. This gallery highlights over twenty years of misplaced and broken works of art. embodies the work of a generation of internet pioneers and much of it has already been lost to time.

Read more about the gallery,, and the historical context at Gallery 404's about page.


To Run

clj -m core

External Dependencies

Goat Counter

Curatorial Statement

Dejan Grba, the artist behind one of my favorite works, All My People Right Here Right Now, asked this question as part of xCoAx 2021's Artists' Roundtable:

Browsing through the complete Gallery 404, it is surprising that you haven't included more dysfunctional/inaccessible projects. Is there a specific selective criterion that you apply or is it because you have just started?

I started Gallery 404 because I was frustrated by all the broken hyperlinks I found when doing research for my talk "Software Preservation in Networked Art". I then rounded out the dataset by including non-working works from the Archive of Digital Art.


Pull requests are welcome! If you find a place on the internet that holds debris, please make a submission or eMail me. Formal submission requirements are below. If that's too intimidating, please simply eMail me. My contact information is here.

To maintain the integrity of the gallery, I do ask you to fill in as many requisite data points as possible. The format is available under resources/art.edn - also available as a spreadsheet if you think it is more readable.

Here is the explanation of each data point:

  • Artwork details
    • title: the title of the artwork or gallery
    • url: the original URL of the artwork
    • artist: the artist(s), curator(s), or group that produced the artwork or gallery space
    • date: the date or date range the artwork was made
    • desc: description of the artwork
    • desc-source: a link to the source of the artwork's desc
  • Domain details
    • retrieved: the date when last visited the artwork's original url. In year-month-day (yyyy-mm-dd) format
    • image: a screen capture of the artwork's original url when it was last retrieved
      • The format is artwork-title-yyyymmdd-width-height.png.
      • The resolution of the image should be 1920x1055.
    • link-from: the website where the original artwork's url was found. On the date when the website was retrieved:
      • the link-from website will function
      • the artwork url on the website will no longer function as intended.
    • link-from-url: the url of the website where the original artwork's url was found
  • Archive details
    • current-archive: if the artwork has been moved or archived in a publicly available site, this is the name of the site.
    • current-archive-url: the url of the current-archive where the artwork is publicly available and running today.


Further Reading

Research Groups

Digital Archives

Archives that feature the artwork often #link to the work rather than #host it. These links fall into four categories.

  1. There may be no link to the original work.
  2. There may be a link to the original work which is no longer hosted at the domain.
  3. There may be a link to the original work which is still hosted at the domain, but the artwork no longer works (e.g. 1+1 on the Digital Art Archive))
  4. There may be a valid link to the original work.

There are also interesting opportunities emerging on IPFS. For example, The Hampster Dance. Monoskop also hosts a list of archives.

Mainstream Reporting on Digital Art Preservation


  • William Gibson’s Agrippa
  • The Gallery of Lost Art at the Tate. ‘on July 1, 2013, exactly a year after its launch, the Gallery of Lost Art will cease to exist. To some, literally pulling the plug on this skillfully designed and rigorously researched educational resource is heartbreaking. Renaissance scholar David Rundle described Mundy’s decision to forever delete the Gallery of Lost Art as an act of “creative vandalism.”’ ~ The Brooklyn Rail

Preservation Organizations


  • Keywords: fine art, internet history, net art, art preservation, telematic art
  • Long tail keywords: net art anthology, what is net art, what is net art, when did begin, net artist, net art definition, net art examples, net art artists, net art exhibition


  • Add footer link to home and index (utility links), add index, and add exhibit numbers for each artwork (e.g. 3/31, 4/31, etc...)
  • Automate gallery announcements (i.e. Today marks a new addition to Gallery 404's illustrious collection of broken net art. "This and that thought." by BFFA3AE via @turbulenceorg.
  • A collection of artworks that continue to work, in spite of changes in the environment. For example, Heath Bunting's Own, Be Owned Or Remain Invisible..

About as it appears today








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