Art is about freedom of expression, and it sometimes results in controversial pieces that challenge the social norms or intentionally push the boundaries of decency for one reason or another. But does there ever come a point when artwork crosses the line? A 1TB external hard drive sitting on a white pedestal at the Art 404 gallery begs that very question, the one you have to ask when someone crams $5 million worth of illegally downloaded software into a storage device and calls it art.
Credit goes to thenextweb.com for stumbling upon the “5 Million Dollars 1 Terrabyte” exhibit, which is a companion piece to “Google Search For Meaning,” a pyramid shaped sculpture with a projector on the opposite side beaming a hacked version of Google Maps that drives through Street View on auto pilot.
Accompanying the $5 million piece of evidence art is a PDF file that lists all the illegally obtained software that’s been stuffed into the hard drive, complete with shortened (TinyURL) links. A sample of what’s on there includes $3 million worth of fiction books from 2003 to 2011, a science textbook collection worth half a million dollars, 124GB of copyrighted music, fonts, Adobe software, various game system ROMs, and more. The hyperlinks mostly reference pages on The Pirate Bay and MegaUploads, with a few other torrent sites littering the list.
Art 404, in case you’re wondering, “is an online portal and exhibition space interested in the contemporary technological art movement. Through Art 404’s exhibition space, Low Budget Gallery, Art 404 acts as a medium for artists to whow work as well as a place for globally accessible experimental art projects,” the website explains.
So what’s the verdict, is the 1TB hard drive an art piece or a crime scene on display?