Interactive Technology and the Obsolete Object
Digital hardware and software technologies change rapidly with some estimating that a typical storage medium or file format is likely to be obsolete within ten years. The fact that less advanced technologies for writing or recording images may survive for centuries before becoming obsolete ‘represents one of the great ironies of our age’ and is a worrying backdrop for those with an interest in publishing and preserving digital narratives and artefacts.
The web in combination with digital technologies should represent a great opportunity for us to make, record, publish and preserve many narratives and thus form rich coherent histories. However as a result of the many and changing standards, formats and processes it has thus far shown itself to be an ephemeral archive.
This workshop aims to explore ways in which digital artefacts and narratives may be captured, authored and preserved from the perspective that ‘different media are not simply neutral channels for the communication of information but are rather environments in and of themselves’.
How should we, if at all, resist obsolescence?
With ‘media archeologies’ in mind: what ‘yield’, in terms of new or creative insights, do we get from a focus on what is obsolescent about ‘being digital’ and the web (as archive)?
During the workshop, there will be practical experiences and activities. Including:
 Experiencing Obsolescence (Digital);
 Mining the Internet Archive;
 Defining a Personal 404;
 Experiencing Old Video Games;
In order for us to work with live examples, consider any of the following:
 Bring your ‘dead media’;
 Bring a CD-ROM that no longer works (through defect or software incompatibility);
 Bringing an electronic document that no longer opens;
 Account a distant memory of the experience of playing a video game (maybe your first)
 If you can, bring a laptop or similar. We’ll provide network access.