"Retro-mediation, Commodore 64, and Interoperational Devices"

Jörgen Behrendtz & Anders Carlsson

While research on retrocomputing has stressed the cultural importance of learning from practices such as retrogaming and preservation, this article emphasizes the material practices developed within retrocomputing communities, namely the electronic engineering of various hardware, which seeks to make older technologies operative in a present media ecology. Focusing on hardware designs for the Commodore 64, this articles analyzes their (joint and emergent) media specificities, raising the issue of what is, in fact, being "re-presenced." Wolfgang Ernst's diagrammatic media archaeography serves as a guiding method to produce materially grounded insights into the temporal transformation of digital culture and how chronologically disconnected functionalities tied to specific machinery can, when systematically joined, bridge, erase, or transform the relation between new and old media.


Jörgen Behrendtz is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Stockholm University. His research concerns the temporal interrelations between media technologies.

Anders Carlsson is an artist and independent researcher in the fields of chipmusic, the demoscene, and textmode graphics.

Citation: Jörgen Behrendtz & Anders Carlsson, "Retro-mediation, Commodore 64, and Interoperational Devices," Artifact & Apparatus: Journal of Media Archaeology 2 (Fall 2022): 1–18.