Wayback Machine (a three-dimensional index) (2022)Materials: 664 billion web pages saved over time  Size: unknown

Wayback Machine (a three-dimensional index)  is an archival object that functions as a storage system of language abstraction. The “machine” blends together traditional and digital practices of archiving into one silent, inarticulate, pulpy space of information. Unlike its institutional counterparts, the work acts as an “anti-archive” by defying categorization and the standardization of the archival process. By defunctioning both paper as an archival tool and the meticulous categorization of a digital database, The Wayback Machine aims to act as a defective keeper of knowledge.

“If this work is a vessel, it is a one made of this immaterial material, one whose body is the result of its “mediating.” Its texture bears the traces of human toil, of the work of shaping muck by hand — of a craft which is somehow folksy and abstracted at the same time. The Wayback Machine appears to us as a strange kind of urn, one composed of opposites: it is container and content, empty and full, seemingly at once as dense as a dying sun yet as airy as a paper lantern. The original “Wayback Machine” promised to transport us back to the earlier, golden age of the internet. Monteiro’s work floats us off somewhere else; somewhere alien, but also human. Or, possibly, it brings us to somewhere human, but seen from an alien perspective: from the blue-shifted end of days, when our manufactured galaxy of information will be crushed, like a scrapped car, down into a cube.”

- Andy Zuliani in Contact at a Distance // Mediating Vessels at Massy Arts, ReIssue  

An ultramarine blue paper pulp rectangular box placed on a plinth in the center of the gallery