Issue 2 (Fall 2022): "Practices of Preservation"


In our second issue, "Practices of Preservation," contributors explore how "obsolete" media technologies are repurposed for contemporary use. Taking an expansive view on both practice and preservation, these scholars examine cases ranging from retroengineering and academic research communities centered on breaking apart and reconfiguring older media technologies to scholarly and artistic conservation projects. Whether a computer peripheral, a media artwork, or a database, the contributors work to uncover what kinds of practices emerge through the engagement with "obsolete" media, and what is preserved by retrofitting, reverse-engineering, or archiving the original technology. What can older media practices teach us about our contemporary media ecologies, and how can we re-envision their creative, scholarly, and artistic possibilities today?



Issue 1 (Fall 2021): "The Allure of Obsolescence"


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 Why do some people feel compelled to save and collect outdated technologies?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?