Life Online

Life Online
Life Online

Life Online is the world's first gallery dedicated to exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. This permanent gallery traces the history of the internet, uncovers how it has changed people's lives and tracks the latest trends.

Life Online launched with a permanent exhibition in the foyer gallery space, complemented by a changing temporary exhibition on Level 7. The first exhibition to feature in the temporary space was [open source]: Is the internet you know under threat?, an exploration of the open source nature of the internet and the current threats to net neutrality which could signify the end of this culture.

Find more about [open source]

The Foyer Gallery

Life Online tracks the history of the internet from the first experimental messages to the rise of modern social networking. A range of inspiring interactives and fun games explore the story of the internet, while a timeline of objects showcases the evolution of internet and computing technology.

Large-scale overhead projection units allow you to immerse yourself in a rich multimedia content archive and browse the web as you’ve never seen it before.

The narrative is divided into four areas:

In the beginning

In the Beginning - The Internet is Born
Starting in the world of private military and academic computer networking, the first section of the gallery highlights the key innovators who helped lay the foundations of the network, and tracks the growth of the technical infrastructure that formed the internet. Find out who invented the internet and watch as it grows around the world.

Into the World

Into the World - The Internet Goes Public
After the formation of the first computer networks, the second area of the gallery explores the early days of online communities. From the first email, to the first home-grown virtual societies, the gallery uncovers the first forays into social networking. The section concludes with the birth and impact of the World Wide Web. Build your own web page, take a trip in the web time machine and try to protect the internet against some of the world’s deadliest viruses.

Into Our Lives

Into Our Lives - The Internet and You
The birth of the web ushered in a new era of information sharing, online tools and opportunities that have made the internet an integral part of everyday life. Search engines, online business, personal privacy and the online communities that create the rich and dynamic culture of the modern internet are explored here. See if you’ve got what it takes to become a dot com millionaire, secure your online privacy and contribute your opinion to the gallery.

Into the future

Into the Future - The Internet Evolves
The final part of the gallery tracks the latest internet trends and technology. Through partnership with industry and academia, new concepts, experiments and prototype devices encourage you to think about where the future of the net is heading. Contribute to digital artworks and see the latest experimental ideas from the digital world.

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The Mirror

Take part in our online project the Mirror and discover how the Internet sees you. Create your online reflection

Internet Mirror