Perry Chen, Computers in Crisis, 2014. 

An investigation into the phenomenon, and our memory of the phenomenon, of Y2K.

Co-presented by the New Museum and Rhizome in conjunction with Creative Time Reports for the New Museum's First Look program.

"The Y2K bug was a computer design oversight that was anticipated to affect a wide range of systems on 1/1/2000, when computers were expected to mistakenly interpret the “00” in dates as the year 1900, not the year 2000. In 1996, Congressional hearings featured expert testimony warning of a coming crisis in which all infrastructures reliant on software and embedded chips—such as those utilized by banks, power plants, communications, air traffic systems—could malfunction or shut down. In the following years, fueled by intense media speculation and the rapid growth of industries servicing Y2K issues, governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals spent hundreds of billions of dollars in preparation and overhauls. Now, Y2K is largely forgotten as January 1, 2000, came and went with no serious issues." 

Exhibition Listing

I. Y2K Book Archive

Browsable on this site, the Y2K Book Archive includes 155 books from Y2K sorted into 11 categories:

– Conspiracy: Conspiracy theories related to Y2K.
– Cookbook: Recipes and cooking guides for post-Y2K survival.
– Hoax: Arguments against excessive Y2K concerns and doomsayers.
– Management: Business management and preparedness guides for Y2K.
– Niche: Guides focused on a very specific audience or topic related to Y2K.
– Opportunity: Methods to profit from the uncertainty and effects of Y2K.
– Overview: Explanations contextualizing Y2K without offering specific guidance. 
– Personal Finance: Y2K financial planning and preparedness guides for individuals and families.
– Programming: Instructions and tactics for correcting Y2K software and technical issues.
– Religious: Y2K analysis and guidance from a religious perspective.
– Survival Guide: Y2K survival planning and preparedness guides.

Computers in Crisis by Jerome T. Murray & Marilyn J. Murray (1984) was the first book published about Y2K.

II. Y2K+15

New Museum, New York. December 12, 2014. 

Full recording of event, and selects, viewable on this site here.

"Through television footage and books produced in the run-up to Y2K, Chen will illuminate the cultural backdrop of the anticipated crisis, surfacing our collective anxieties in the face of this vast uncertainty. Key players, including David Eddy, who coined the term “Y2K,” Margaret Anderson, formerly of the Center for Y2K and Society, and Shaunti Feldhahn, author of Y2K: The Millennium Bug—A Balanced Christian Response, will convene this evening to share their firsthand accounts of the time, offering a deeper investigation into the preparations for, climate around, and legacy of Y2K and complicating the prevailing narrative that Y2K was a 'non-event.'"

Event Listing

III. Y2K: Welcome to the Jungle

Accompanying essay published on December 9, 2014 in Creative Time Reports.