A collection of old computer technology on a set of metal shelves

(Un)Controlled Vocabulary

This post was written by Alex Custodio and Michael Iantorno as part of their ongoing research work at the Residual Media Depot. In October 2020, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, we decided to begin our long-anticipated cataloguing of the Residual Media Depot. The Depot’s status as an active research collection makes it challenging to document, since the collection seldom remains static for more than a few days at a time. However, with no possibility of taking our workshops to classrooms or even other universities, the lockdown has provided a morbidly ideal time to embark on our efforts to catalog the sheer amount of objects we have. Our initial foray into cataloguing has focused on home videogame consoles, primarily...

/ March 12, 2021

Main Research Questions

– What are the discourse networks that authorize console-modding practices? Who can participate in them and who is excluded? What counts as valuable knowledge and what is dismissed? – What operations and techniques circulate in these networks? To what extent are these techniques borrowed from other discourse networks? How are borrowed techniques adapted? Are any of the relevant techniques sui generis? Which techniques persist and which fade away? Have any circulated outward to other networks? – What kinds of official and unofficial documents do these networks produce? Where do they reside? How public are they? – What sorts of institutions recognize and enable these techniques and practices, and what sorts fail to comprehend their existence? – What sorts of subjects,...

/ June 30, 2020

Media Archaeology 2020

ENGL 603: Media Archaeology January-April 2020 1:15-4:30 Tuesdays 3 credits Darren Wershler (Concordia University) Concordia Department of English course page Course Description What is media archaeology? As Jussi Parikka describes, it is a subfield of media history that scrutinizes contemporary media culture through investigations of past media technologies and creative media practices. Media archaeology takes a special interest in recondite and forgotten apparatuses, practices and inventions. Media Archaeology also encourages opening up and tinkering with the “black boxes” of media technologies, in order to develop a relationship to them that is not based on being a “consumer” or “end user.” At an historical moment when our own media technologies become obsolete with increasing rapidity, the study of residual forms and...

/ July 24, 2019

Forensics: Genesis 2 with original Mega Amp

A brief but interesting teardown of a Sega Genesis model 2 containing one of Ace and Villahed's original Mega Amp boards

/ April 3, 2019

Weeknotes: 29 March 2019

This week, we opened up the Smash Box, an all-button fighting game controller made just for Smash games by the team at Hit Box.

/ April 1, 2019

Weeknotes: 22 March 2019

This was a very busy week at the Depot. We have four projects on the go: a database; the Wii-modding project; a new project dealing with Sega Genesis audio mods; and a Super Smash Brothers Melee project.

/ March 23, 2019

Arcade11 2019

Depot denizen Abbie Rappaport took her project on Super Smash Bros. Melee to the 2019 edition of Arcade11, the annual indie and experimental videogame showcase at Concordia. Here's her account of the experience.

/ March 18, 2019

The Game Boy’s Second Life: A Conversation with Retro Modding’s Olivier

The Residual Media Depot team recently had the pleasure of visiting Montreal-based Retro Modding. With Olivier, the founder and owner, we discussed entry into the modding scene, the political economy of hardware modding, and the nuts and bolts of video game modification and preservation.

/ February 27, 2019

Forensics: Genesis 1 component-mod

What makes this Sega Genesis “High Definition Graphics” model 1 unusual is that it has a full set of gold-plated AV jacks added to the rear, for component video (YpBPr) and stereo sound. In this post, we open it up to see what's inside.

/ February 7, 2019

Emulation at the Residual Media Depot

An emulator is hardware or software that enables one computer system to behave like another. At the Depot, we're interested in emulation for a variety of reasons.

/ September 2, 2018