Archaeology of Media

Alessia Andreotti
June 17th 2015

Rapid changes in technology and media, consumerism and planned obsolescence have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of electronic waste around the globe. Artists and engineers at PAMAL, a media archaeology lab in France, address this problem with the exposition Archéologies des Medias, where they turned archaic technology that was once cutting-edge into art.

The group argues that all media artworks are born, live, and die. With this idea in mind, they explore the history and use of now-defunct technologies, through a series of exhibits. One of these, for instance, is ReFunct Media, a work by artist and founder of the Recyclism Hacklab Benjamin Gaulon, which features a mash-up of Gameboys, Atari consoles, and Aquarius computers that have long gone out of fashion.

“We want to explore how certain machines existed at certain times, and how there were economic and industrial strategies which programmed their obsolescence” says Emmanuel Guez, Archéologies des Media curator.

Similar to regular archaeologists, media archaeologists work on the documentation, conservation and preservation of modern fossils. They want to cast a critical gaze on our evolving relationships with tech and e-waste. This could result in taking old, defunct tech and transposing it onto a new machine.

Archéologies des Medias exhibition runs until June 28 in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Story via Motherboard

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