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Revision as of 13:51, 5 November 2007 by Alex (Talk | contribs) (Dead Media Dossiers)

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Dead Media Research Studio

This course is devoted to media archaeology, that is, historical research on forgotten, obsolete, or otherwise “dead” media technologies. Examples range from Athanasius Kircher’s seventeenth-century magic lantern to the common slide projector, discontinued by Kodak in 2004. Our goal is to acquire the skills and resources necessary for producing rigorous and compelling scholarship on such media. The course will include an exposure to recent contributions to the field of media archaeology; an introduction to research methods; instruction on the identification and utilization of word, image, and sound archives; and an emphasis on the need to restore media artifacts to their proper social and cultural context. The course stems from the premise that media archaeology is best undertaken, like any archaeological project, collaboratively. Hence the course follows a research studio model commonly used in disciplines such as architecture.

Dead Media Dossiers

3D Television

8-track Tape

Chirograph (Cyrograph)

Chrysler Air Raid Siren

Civil Defense Siren

Electric Pen

Homing Pigeons

Hotel Annunciator

Mechanical Television


Newspaper via Radio Facsimile


Player Piano

Pneumatic Tubes


Smell Organ

Spirit Duplicator


Talking Book


Some entries in the archive are drawn from the Dead Media Project, an email list devoted to the topic started by Bruce Sterling and more recently moderated by Tom Jennings. Ironically their email list is now dead.

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