Too Long For iTunes

1 January – 31 December 2016


Challenging the limits of online presentation and exploring offline digital culture

Terre Thaemlitz’s 2011 album Soulnessless included a nearly 30-hour piano solo filling a single maximum length 320kB/s MP3 file of 4GB – yet the file playback was limited to the first two hours and 40 minutes! Challenging the era’s dominant media format the album was sold only as a 16GB microSDHD card, drawing a distinction between online culture and digital culture, honouring the authors ‘specificity of content’.

Our sixth annual curated open online exhibition sought to examine whether a distinction still existed between digital and online cultures following the advent of the Internet of Things, and what forms these may take.


Pete Ashton
Marc Atkinson
Emma Jarvis
Sam Mattacott
with a text by Christine Lucy Latimer



Pete Ashton’s The Droids is a series of 401 copies of a piece of copyrighted and highly protected film footage – “These are not the droids you’re looking for” from Star Wars. A pure copy was downloaded from YouTube which was re-encoded 400 times so that the video and audio slowly degraded to incoherent digital mush. Number 1 is the most compressed. Number 401 is the original. These copies were then re-uploaded to YouTube.

The Droids looks for the edge cases in our emerging algorithmic police state; searching for the points where a copyright infringement evades the pattern-matching robots running algorithms searching for copyrighted material. These edges will shift throughout the exhibition, and documented along the way.

Marc Atkinson’s Sound Lines was a 45 minute walk through Fermyn Woods Country Park, with an online soundtrack.

The artist described the work as a type of “wild release” since the artwork was only fully experienced through the park itself. Each section of the work was the same length as delineated sections of the walk, which were constructed from field recordings and electro-acoustic music representing observations of the real world forest.

Emma Jarvis’ Matigital Culture (a fusion of material and digital cultures) took photographic media such as slide film and glass negatives and presented them online through a series of photographic layers, with each layer representative of a particular stage of fragmentation caused by the digitisation of the original objects.

The initial layers were digitised photographic images of each object. The second layers were the contents of the photographs themselves, the third the digital codes which represent the images when stored on a computer. The fourth layers were the locations of the images on various social networking sites.

Sam Mattacott’s Infinite Edition presented an infinitely changing series of drawings created online by the execution of a computational script written in the Processing programming language that grew out of the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab.

However, the results of the script were prevented from being displayed online by the use of CSS, a style sheet language used for rendering the presentation of online documents. In order to see an edition of the digital drawing series viewers were required to print a physical copy and engage with it in the offline world.

Fermynwoods would like to thank Antonio Roberts for his assistance in selecting the artists for this online exhibition.


  1. […] edition of the Open Online year-long online exhibitions from Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, titled Too Long for iTunes, went […]

  2. […] Sound Lines project was developed as a commission for Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as part of Open Online 6 ‘Too Long for ITunes’. It consists of a 45 min audio track and accompanying map. Each section of the track is the same […]

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