Spark

Look at this internet art — if you can. It moves every time someone sees it

Donald Hanson wanted to make a point about the economy of digital art: that work that can be endlessly reproduced often circulates online for free, without attribution. Permanent Redirect changes its URL every time someone sees it. Over time, it's getting nearly impossible to see.
Donald Hanson is a new media artist based in Oakland, California, working between technology, design and creative coding. (Donald Hanson )
Listen8:07

Permanent Redirect is an internet-based art piece. It's also getting harder and harder to find as time goes on. It moves every time someone views it, becoming more obscure as it's redirected, and redirected again.

The home page no longer contains the piece; it just has a record of how many people have visited, and a link to a new page for the art, which has also been redirected!

Donald Hanson is the digital artist behind the project. He wanted to make a point about the economy of digital art: that digital work — which can be endlessly, perfectly reproduced — often circulates online for free, without attribution. So he's introducing "artificial scarcity" into the digital system.

A screenshot of what a user sees when they visit Donald Hanson's art piece, "Permanent Redirect." (Donald Hanson)

In some ways, though, actually seeing that final art piece is beside the point. "I wanted it to be something rather trivial," he explains of the final work. "The entire thing is the actual art piece, it's not just the end."

Listen to Donald Hanson's full interview with Spark host Nora Young below.