What brings us closer potentially tears us apart.

This is the underlying theme of The 404th Wall, an experimental springboard of new platforms for participatory and new media practices. Hosted by The NewBridge Project and spearheaded by artists Alexia Mellor, Anthony Schrag and Dominic Smith, The 404th Wall is a satellite project of the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), which took place in Dubai, 30 October-8 November, 2014. In collaboration with DIYwania, a participatory work by Mellor and Schrag that consists of a nomadic pop-up conversation space, The 404th Wall playfully asks questions around the role of technology in how we communicate and translate experiences of place. Referencing both Denis Diderot’s term “breaking the fourth wall” in which the boundary between audience and performer is removed, and the dreaded 404 Internet Error Code, The 404th Wall presents a series of daily live-streamed events between Newcastle and Dubai, and new media interventions in the NewBridge Project Space exploring the connections and tensions created by our ubiquitous screen-based experiences. From Google Hangout Tea Parties, to commissioned new media pieces made visible only when the Internet connection drops, The 404th Wall investigates our changing modes of communication as our interdependence with our screens increases.

Although the first expedition across the 404th divide has concluded, you can explore the secret vault of archived videos, and consult with the Beyond the 404th Wall notebook for guidance on your own voyage.

We would like to thank our teams of Extra Dimensional and Remote Explorers, Peter Law, Martin and Debbie Hylton of Gateway Studios, John Bowers and Tim Shaw, Musée Imaginaire, Cristina Picchi, Steve Lambert, Scott Vermeire, Lucy Pawlak, Tea Owl, and all our other co-explorers.