Category: Research

Notes from the Media Archaeology Summer Class: working with Action Max and Pong Sports IV

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.

/ June 5, 2017

Re-versioning as a cultural technique of nostalgia? – Final Presentation

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?

/ June 2, 2017

Press START: Reflections on the Making of the Arcade Table

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.

/ June 1, 2017

Action Max: Notes on a Deictic Dispositif

The slogan for the Action Max is not so much a sales pitch as a finger pointed at the console’s own pitfall. It wants to be so real that it can’t be a game.

/ June 1, 2017

ghosts ; replicants ; parasites — Excavating the Spectravideo CompuMate

The CompuMate is starting to challenge some of my thinking, or at least provide some new territories to expand beyond a dialectic of living and dead that ghosts seems to traffic in. Particularly, as I’ve repeatedly suggested, I’m getting interested in the figure of the parasite.

/ May 29, 2017

Flooding notes_ Winthrop-Young

I’m going to present Winthrop-Young’s paper, and in particular, I will address the three different meanings that the notion of cultural techniques has received during its history. The probe I’ll use to highlight this evolution of the uses of the concept of cultural techniques will be an agricultural case. This way I will play during the presentation with an idea that is present in Winthrop-Young’s paper: that although the differences between the stages of this evolution are clear, there are liminal situations that inform us about the richness and the variety of possibilities of the cultural techniques approach. I’ll start then with the first use of the word Kulturtechniken, linked to agriculture. It designated the large-scaled procedures aimed to transform...

/ May 26, 2017

Remake as an object of history – Thoughts on Jentery Sayers’ writings

For the probe, I chose to discuss the writings from Jentery Sayers, especially his thoughts on The Relevance of Remaking which is close to my own research interests. I will, of course, make some notions on the other two writings as well but the main focus lies in the practice of remaking and remakes. The key question Sayers claims he has to answer every time regarding remaking is, how is remaking scholarship. The definition of remaking according to Sayers is as follows: need not to be an exact replication of artifacts (appeals to authentic not required) remake doesn’t necessarily lack something the original doesn’t what isn’t at hand, or what we don’t know, or what we are willing to conjecture...

/ May 25, 2017

Anxieties of Scale and Infrastructure Aesthetics

While we discussed briefly during Wednesday’s seminar some of the epistemological distinctions between media archaeology and the digital humanities, our work in the afternoon seems to suggest to me a shared methodological concern: the need (real or imagined or both) for dedicated spaces, resources, and labor practices that enable and foster particular kinds of technological and imaginative work. The Residual Media Depot and the Milieux Institute more generally, both as physical space and institutional configurations, are our most immediate and tangible examples of this; Patrik Svensson’s chapter also gives us a glimpse into the HUMLab at Umeå University as yet another. Svensson offers a substantial and considered response to a very straightforward question, though one that he wants us to think...

/ May 24, 2017

Working Notes on Sterne’s reformulation of Bourdieu

Sterne, Jonathan. “Bourdieu, Technique and Technology.” _Cultural Studies_ 17.3/4 (2003): 367–89. Sterne begins his article by framing the critical study of technology within the humanities and then responding to what he viewed as a critical lack of nuance and specificity about technology in critical study.((“For instance,  consider the use and non-use of the word ‘digital’  as a modifier to the word  ‘technology’  in academic discourse.  Academic job descriptions, grant announcements and journal articles joyfully collapse the historically specific instance of digital technology with the category of ‘technology’  itself.  In this logic,  if you are to care about technology,  then your work is supposed to be driven by  an interest in that which is new and digital. Alternatively,  take the example...

/ May 23, 2017

Comparative Study of Early Home Computers/Game Consoles

For the afternoon project, I propose to work on a comparative study of educational computers/game consoles of the 1980s. It started with my interest in the history of home computers in Mainaland China. The first real home computers that entered into the lives of Chinese families in the 1980s, it turns out, was not computers proper but the so-called Educational Computers or Learning Machines (学习机). They were not computers proper but clones of various models of contemporary home computers in Japan and the U.S., such as the Nintendo NES systems, the Microsoft MSX home computers, and Apple-II series. This, however, does not mean they were derivatives either. Rather, they were redesigned in ways significantly different from the original models in order...

/ May 22, 2017