Where do media go to die?

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Revision as of 14:09, 23 April 2008 by (Talk) (Obsolescence)

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The bodily metaphor of death cannot account for the curious logic of media decline. Most dossiers are premised on the shared belief that media don't necessarily die when they just happen to break, and, conversely, that most 'dead' media may still work perfectly fine. There is no clear boundary between the living and dead with media: the failure of component parts (the brain, heart, etc…) does not a media death make. Instead, media either slowly recede into disuse, rendered obsolete, inoperable, or outmoded by subsequent media or shifting social, political, or cultural imaginaries, or finally go extinct.




The attic, the basement, ebay These are not skeletons, but fully functional, intact bodies, in the closet.



Can no longer be used as originally intended, or no one knows how to use or repair something that might still work. Institutional memory Media don't die when they break


Go the way of the dodo Lapsed patent? Cease manufacturing? The last floppy disk

Not only must all such media no longer be in use, but there must be no remaining physical or working artifact

Can it be brought back to life? Are media technologies simply ideas or technical plans?