For our inaugural issue, "The Allure of Obsolescence," we invited contributors to think about the meaning of "obsolescence" in the writing of media history. Playing on the title of Arlette Farge's The Allure of the Archives, we encouraged scholars to explore our collective preoccupation with "obsolete" media formats and technologies: What is their hold on us? Why do some people feel compelled to save and collect outdated technologies? How can we safeguard their continued existence? Should we? and, if so, whose responsibility is it? What treasures and secrets do these objects hide, and what can they reveal about past and present media cultures? Is "obsolescence" a productive lens through which to write and read media history?
Artifact & Apparatus is a new peer-reviewed, open-access online journal. We invite scholars, curators, and practitioners from art history, film and media studies, library and information science, science and technology studies, and related fields to contribute articles on the history, theory, aesthetics, and practice of media objects, broadly conceived. Why "artifact and apparatus"? We want to harness these words' multiple meanings to encourage a revision of media history grounded in its material artifacts and technological apparatuses. From digital information networks to early electrical communications tools; from closed-circuit video surveillance systems to mechanical typewriters; and from optical toys to virtual reality artworks, we invite contributors to reconsider the material objects that record, store, transmit, and reproduce texts, images, sounds, and information.