windows.exe has stopped working is about that moment of uncertainty when software begins exhibiting signs of an impending malfunction. The software stutters, glitches, begins acting erratically, sometimes altogether freezing with no indication of when normality will return. When faced with this hopeless situation the illusion of flawless technology is shattered and we’re reminded that technology is imbued with the flaws and imperfections of its creators.
windows.exe has stopped working was commissioned by Phoneix for The Idle Index
The Idle Index is an exhibition and online project featuring screensavers created by artists based in, or with links to, Leicester.
Screensavers have persisted as a common feature of digital devices (computers, TVs, blu ray players etc) long after their original purpose – to protect screens from burn-in – has become obsolete.
While some systems still utilise them for practical purposes such as security, they serve for most as a reminder of our own inactivity – acting as prompts to continue working, browsing, watching or shopping.
The screensavers offered by The Idle Index place artworks into the forgotten corners of our digital space to explore ideas of work, leisure, and usefulness.
Artists Gino Attwood, Dan Cowlam, Anoushka Goodwin, Khush Kali, Ashok Mistry, Jas Singh, Antonio Roberts and Kühle Wampe have been commissioned to make new screensavers for the 2020 edition of The Idle Index.
These new works will be exhibited in our gallery space, and will be available to download as a free browser extension. The extension will allow users to select screensavers to activate during moments of online idleness, and will include pieces from the 2019 and 2018 editions of this project.
The Idle Index is part of Leicester Art Week 2020.