Category: Media Archaeology

Google’s Forgotten Platforms

In our discussion of the Kirschenbaum reading, we looked at the materiality of digital storage; how the material trace is inscribed into an environment “engineered to model ideal conditions of immateriality” (Kirschenbaum 71). In keeping with that analysis of the material infrastructure of communications technology, we discussed the history of network exchanges in relation to Tung-Hui Hu’s A Prehistory of the the cloud. I was reminded of Andrew Blum’s work on the creation of internet exchange points in Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. Despite the titular “Center”, Blum’s work challenges (in the same vein as Hu) the notion of the internet as an universally connected plane. He traces the origins of modern internet exchanges back to the codification...

/ November 9, 2016

Virtual Boy to the Vive: VR and the Rhetoric of Immesion

For this blog entry I was interested in doing a material investigation the virtual boy and exploring the cultural linkages between the virtual boy and contemporary virtual reality. One of the first forays into contemporary VR was the Sword of Damocles , the first fully integrated head-mounted-display (HMD). “The system itself consisted of six subsystems: a clipping divider, matrix multiplier, vector generator, headset, head position sensor, and a general-purpose computer—which would make these the components of the first virtual reality machine as we know them today”  (Wikipedia). For me, this project connects the discourse around teleprescence to modern attempts at virtual reality. One such attempt was Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. It was designed by Gunpei Yokoi. Professor LeMieux mentioned Yokoi’s notion of...

/ November 1, 2016

Politics of the Archive: Through Plugs, Publications and the History of Electric Labor

by Jaime Kirtz At the beginning of the week I began with the question: what are the politics of the archival space? This was driven by my recent work helping with renovations at the Media Archaeology Lab and the frustrations that came with redesigning the space, as well as my exposure and work with the tensions of cultural studies and political economy over the past two years. As I move from my coursework to comprehensive exams and my dissertation, I have questioned my methods, object of study and academic spaces (both physical and intangible), thus having a week to dissect these areas via various methods, discussions and practices, helped immensely. Ultimately I see the work I conducted during the course...

Interventions in Machine to Machine Writing

by Kyle Bickoff Hi all— I really tried to bring my hands-on work and some of the theory I’ve been interested in all together here. I’ll first talk about the additional research I did before speaking, and then I’ll go into what I believe this can help me understand. In particular, I’m concerned with, perhaps, illuminating the moment of human intervention in machine-to-machine writing, a moment clearly marked when we ‘codebent’ Super Mario Bros. So, after talking yesterday in class, and after Patrick’s suggestion, I looked most closely into Footnote 6 in Chapter 1 of Kirschenbaum’s Mechanisms. Kirschenbaum here discusses a great many of the origins surrounding inscription, particularly in relation to the divide between the terms communication and signification....

Textual Communities and Gameplay

by Becky Anderson This past week, my research has circulated around transmedia, storytelling, & sub-creation with a specific focus on the way in which a secondary world is mapped. The two lines of inquiry precipitated by these three concepts that I’ve been thinking about this week are first, Mapping & Player Experience of Space; and second, Proprioception & Experience of Place. Specifically, I’ve been particularly interested in a game’s topographic transfer of a Secondary World into the chosen medium and how the adapted layout of that world into the game impacts player experience. I’ve been equally interested in exploring how space influences and interacts with the social within the gameworld of a particular secondary world. With LOTRO, I’ve been thinking...

Exploring “home” in early home computing

by Bailey Kelley In various ways, I’ve been interested in domesticity as a constellation of expectations, practices, technologies, and affects that can provide access to all kinds of questions about labor, gender/race/class, and materiality. This week I’ve been asking: What does it mean to have a computer in the home, and if women have traditionally been the creators and managers of homes, what is their relationship to this technology? Keeping in mind Gittelman’s definition of media as both technology and context, this project has two pieces. The actual hardware and software of early home computing intended to assist with various housekeeping tasks and the physical experience of using them; and their various paratexts, including advertisements, packaging, user manuals, and popular...

Recap from the Week

by Jaime Kirtz project recap Above is the power point of my work here. The notes sections expands the images.

Documenting my (Nearly Successful) Attempt to Location Spoof in Ingress

by Kaitlin O’Brien This past week, I have tried to extend beyond my academic comfort zone to explore new concepts and I feel like nothing showcases this as much as my final blog post. I decided that after my exploration of hacking concepts, exploitation in Ingress and location spoofing, I would try my hand at following a few threads and testing out their instructions to ascertain overall feasibility and to learn the degree of accessibility these location spoofing instructions have. After all, I don’t claim to be overtly tech-savvy but I am open to putting my best foot forward to have my avatar in Ingress show up geographically half a world away. Going into this venture, I wanted to establish...

The Atari 2600 and the Search for Removable Memory

by Kyle Bickoff Hi all, let me apologize for my late posting on Day 3—I felt quite poorly after class so am putting this up a day late. Here it is: Today I’m thinking about what exactly the vintage computers I’m using are helping me to reveal, particularly in regards to my topics of interest: memory, infrastructure, and the blackbox. I worked today with the Atari 2600, specifically, connected to the Spectravision Compumate. Rather than simply inserting a traditional cartridge and connecting a controller via serial port—this cartridge first inserts, and then has three different cables connecting—two of which insert into the controller ports and the third of which leads to the Spectravision keyboard. I’ve never used such a system...

Gaming the Ingress System

by Kaitlin O’Brien While I have not used any type of spoofing software to disrupt or confuse my locational data, I can understand users spoofing their locations not to have an advantage in the game, but to falsify the data records Google is collecting on behalf of Niantic Labs. Giving a corporation like Google open access to the location data being collected on one’s phone is a scary concept because by doing so, one is disclosing areas that are frequented by that person. To make a mockery of the fact that Ingress is in fact a “form of digital economic exchange—one that requires the ‘datafication’ of one’s mobility and communicative action in exchange for the gift of play” (Hulsey &...