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ellen.gif's Wayback Machine (2018)

Exhibited as part of YOLKS at The Bearded Tit, Australia (2018)

Exhibited as part of LOR, Texas Tech Satellite Gallery, Texas (2020)

Exhibited as part of LOR, Chamber, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2020)

Digital data is vulnerable. Previous software versions can no longer be opened. Facebook’s “On This Day” recalls your highly curated memories for you. Our lives are constantly being recorded for future reference, however, how much of this is properly archived? Like most millennials, Formby was brought up on early Web 2.0, a period where Neopets were alive, chat rooms were booming and angsty MSN display names were omnipresent.


Like many tweens, Formby created websites on Matmice, an Australian version of Geocities, which since has closed down. ellen.gif’s Wayback Machine (2018) is a video collage of the artist’s archive, sourced from the Wayback Machine: a digital archive of the World Wide Web, created by The Internet Archive in 2001. Formby is scrapbooking her online coming of age by presenting screenshots, Microsoft paint drawings, glitter graphics and online conversations. Here, Formby is probing the question on whether such digital/physical data is worth archiving, or if it is better discarded.

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