Thought Leadership

Publicis UK

64 Bits: Bytesize

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor of BITE


Publicis - Bytesize

Media obsolescence, failing hardware and the transient nature of websites mean the early years of the web are in danger of disappearing entirely. 64 Bits: Bytesize was an intelligent and interactive exhibition and collaboration between Publicis UK and curator, Jim Boulton at the end of 2017. It celebrated technologies of the past and explored how they will influence and mould the digital era of the future.

As part of a wider digital archaeology project, 64 Bits seeks to plug gaps in the historical record by telling the stories of the forgotten artist engineers that shaped today’s digital culture. Take Alan Emtage, Barbadian-born inventor of the search engine. Billions of people use the technology he created on a daily basis but very few know his name. The exhibition includes a working version of his first search engine, Archie, and Alan also made a rar appearance in conversation with curator Jim Boulton during the exhibition.

Equally significant, is the work of designer Susan Kare. Her icons and fonts have been seen by the masses, yet few know her name. The exhibition incorporates a selection of key milestones in her career, including the original Macintosh icons, the MacPaint interface and the Microsoft Solitaire playing cards.

These are not isolated cases. Many pioneering examples of digital creativity from our recent digital past can no longer be seen. Files have been lost or stored on redundant media. People have passed away. Companies have gone out of business. Stories have been lost. 64 Bits explores these forgotten roots and offers alternate histories.


Jim Boulton, Curator, Writer and Digital Archeologist

Alan Emtage, Consultant and Inventor of the Internet Search Engine

Soul Labels, Creative Polymath Group

Key take outs:

  • The innovators of the future will need to reframe the man-versus-machine dichotomy to demonstrate that we can work in tandem.
  • Innovation is contagious. Those closely connected to innovation are more likely to become innovators themselves.
  • Collaboration is more likely to pay off than competition.
  • Wide experience trumps narrow expertise.


    64 Bits is looking to go on tour in 2018 and offers various sponsorship opportunities.

    Please contact Dean Rowland, New Business Manager, Publicis for more information.

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