A digital artifact is neither an object nor its representation but the distance between the two. In this way a digital artifact exists somewhere between the two dictionary definitions of its material predecessor :
1. any object made by human beings, especially with a view to subsequent use.
2. a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.

AE Benenson and Clement Valla, Some Sites and their Artifacts: 123D Catch
Clement Valla