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...
– 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,...
This is how business is done in the age of the Stack. On a global scale, Nintendo is concentrating decades of public interactions with its games and game systems into the narrowest possible channel, in order to shut down cultural practices that they don't like, and to extract maximum profit.
Before I came to media studies or media archaeology, I trained as a theater artist. The word "train" weighs heavily in that sentence. Over our week-long course, we talked a fair amount about "training": how disciplination emerges from the various ways that scholars are trained into practices, and how we code those various ways with residues of geography, culture, language, and tactics.
During my week at the Residual Media Depot, I participated in a group of two teams, with 2-3 members each, and transformed an IKEA coffee table into an arcade table using after-market arcade parts and a raspberry pi emulator. In this post, I discuss some of the ideas that emerged from the experience.
If media archaeology can be defined as a militant approach to the study of media in its privileging non-canonical history, by taking this class, I have been primarily interested in the meanings that a practical, hands-on, approach on media objects add to the traditional framework of a graduate seminar.
Who or what creates the cultural neo-production process? Is becoming a classic the result of simultaneous acts from both the producer and the users who by their own longing create the process, or is nostalgia something that is created on its own and it then creates the whole process?
Just as it is problematic to focus solely on an object’s narrative history, it is equally problematic to read objects as entirely independent of their cultural contexts and the ways they have been narrativized. The arcade table project ultimately allows us to to think through both aspects of a cultural object simultaneously.