From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

First explorations & outline (closed)

A very messy attempt to create an inventory and overview of idea's and concept.

First thoughts and notes

What am I truly interested in? What makes my heart beat faster? Let's just give it a go:

"When/How (obsolete) low-tech is being reinvented and placed in a current technological context"

  • When it functions together (compliments or critiques)
  • remixing/reintroducing Low-tech & high-tech tools: How we can use it within today's technological frameworks?
  • Low tech: what we can open up and understand (?)
  • (early) underground and subversive methods to distribute/spread information and media that arose from necessity (sneakernets, DIY publishing, zines, piracy)

Basically, I am interested in how to think about obsolete tech otherwise and reflect on how we use technology today and how it affects us. This can be about workflows, publishing, teaching, and knowledge sharing.
For me, my interest in old computer hardware and obsolete consumer tech isn’t about nostalgia or 'retro' sake of it. I’m more interested in the practical uses of these machines in our time with the knowledge and tools that are available today. Explore it's potential, work with limitations and embrace its flaws.

ultimate reference:
Tristan Perich - 1-bit Symphony:

Side thoughts & notes:

  • I am more interested in re-using instead of hacking: amateur, don't have to be an expert electronics (a matter of accessibility)
  • what can you do with it? how to approach it in a different way that was intended?
  • 'process emulation/simulation: affordances of using hardware creates unexpected


My main interests come down to this:

  • (chip)music (production, performing, publishing)
  • rethinking the potential of low-tech (obsolete consumer electronics and media devices)
  • lo-fi / lo-tech systems (whatever that is, will define later)
  • working with (and embrace) limitations
  • sharing & teaching "adaptive mentalities" instead of blindly using what is presented to us
  • experimental (post-digital) publishing formats and media carriers
  • graphic design interest & typography

Mapping of overlapping theme's

Low-tech: insight in inner workings

  • current black boxes are hard to comprehend and create a distance to understanding technology (related to agency, autonomy)?
  • Blackbox: inner workings of information technology concealed as a result of rapid technological progress
  • this insight might reflect on how we use and technology today
  • the meaning beyond nostalgia: exposing the inner workings and potential to re-appropriate
  • rethink somethings potential in the context of today:
  • teaching/sharing: developing adaptive mentalities
  • 'anachronisms'

Hardware vs emulating/simulating?

  • lo-fi: experiencing imperfection (materiality / texture )
  • working with limitations: why?
  • How can we use the experience to reflect on our own workflows?
  • affordances of lo-fi (aesthetics of imperfection, expercience of materiality)

For instance:

-how studio's affected genre's: discarded equipment influenced the sound of dub music
-(electronic) music that emerge from and technical limitations

Media Archeology & Zombie media

  • Zombie media: 'living dead of discarded electronic waste' (re-use, re-approprate, reintroduce)
  • Artistic method: DIY culture, circuit bending, hardware hacking
  • out-of-use (waste, consumed) tech: resurrected to new uses contexts and adaptations
  • Question: Is 'Blackboxed' tech able to become 'zombie media'?
-Zombie Media
- chipmusic as a subculture: ('This movement is about a return to the roots of the digital culture and an idea of the authentic.')
- gambiologia:
- accessibility of casette tape, videotape, digital camera's, gaming consoles, media players, calculators, etc

Hacking (breaking in) a certain regulated/prevailign system

  • concept of T.A.Z
  • dissemination of information emerging from a (political) urgency or a lack technoligical infrastructure (see the pirate book!)
  • 'piracy' music industry
  • A Dying Colonialism - Frantz Fanon (Algerian Radio Hack)

Publishing: the meaning of physical media formats and materiality

  • DIY , underground and subversive publishing and distribution!
  • experimental formats
  • excitement of receiving and sharing
  • networks and interaction that are created due to (physical) sharing (political climate, no technological infrastructure in the past )
  • history of underground DIY (music) publishing (sneakernets, LA hardcore scene, zines etc.)
  • manuals, instructions, zines, floppy's, p2p, etc.
  • post-digital publishing: why!
-The Pirate Book (more about distribution networks)
-Aspen Magazine
-Manual/DIY style/community: Whole Earth Catalog, Radical Software, etc.

Technological sovereignty

  • hollistic view: craftsmanship and custom workflows
  • art & technology: made their own tools
  • existing outside big tech & commercial tools
  • How (commercial) software works and shaped our thinking!
  • authonomy: how does software shape my artistic work?
  • how technology (hardware & software) shapes human behaviour: is re-approprating low-tech a possibility to reflect?
  • open source (community, DIY, etc)
  • anti-consumerism
  • critical: why do we think users care?

Economy: technological developments (materiality)

  • fully explore something's potential instead of discarding it as waste
  • capitalism / tech consumerism addiction
  • creating a necessity to look back instead of always look what's next
  • electronic waste: consumer electronics (most toxic portion)
  • planned obsolesces: artificially decreasing life-span (black box, not engineered to fix)
  • conflict: old tech sold as retro/vintage when it's re-used for DIY purposes (able to buy comes with a certain economical privileged)

Ecology: the materiality of (digital) information technology and media cultural objects

  • code, data needs a physical material as a carrier
  • ecological consequences of electronic waste: materials, chemicals, etc
  • digital networks are related to soil, air
  • the faster developments goes, the more waste and environmental damage?
  • "tech perpetual innovation vs perpetual destruction"

(Design) Education & knowledge sharing

  • creating adaptive mentalities and autonomous:
-bottom-up: (user approach: what do we need and how can we create that)
-top-down: "power users" for Google and Adobe
-feminist technological approach: we need other terminology!

Possible outcome of my practical work:

a living, an evolving collection of knowledge, practices, objects, publications, and performances

  • prototype / workflow
  • performance: create sound pieces/instruments and perform together
  • publication

Why is it relevant?

- re-activating, exploring the potentials of depreciated technology: what can we learn from that?

- create own workflows develop ownership

- how do we approach something? (rethinking how we can do this otherwise)

- DIY workflow commercial software (Freedom outside commercial tech giants)

- the meaning beyond the nostalgic: exposing the inner workings and potential to appropriate

First notes and comments

Notes from Aymeric:

Read: Jussi Parikka - Zombie Media (appendix)
Read: circuit as score (Derec Holzer)
Research circular economy!
trap! We are benefiting from big tech!?
Hobby can be a leftist privilege: who has acces to these obsolete goods (yikes, retro!!! - a hobby for who can afford)
demoscene & chipmusic references: I decided not to focus on this right now.

Notes from Michael: Challenges:

talk about digital media is physical (it's just boxed away)
make digital media more physical
affordances: why??!!!
critical of technology (agency, how much control)
excitement of mail and physical carriers zines

Rethink these following 'homework' question:

- What are the theories, concepts, frameworks you would like to engage?

- what are the practices, techniques you would like to focus on?

- How do the last two relate to, inform, complement, or conflict with each other in a meaningful way?

- What is the issue you want to deal with (and/or damage, check again the queering damage questions!)

- What is the preferred medium or the media

- What kind of public do you intend to create?


Books & papers


  • Here and Now - Explorations on Urgent Publishing urgent publishing workflows
  • The responsible object - Marjanne van Helvert A History of Design Ideology for the Future
  • Post Digital Print - Alessandro Ludovico meaning of print as a medium today

Articles & manifesto's

Obsolete tech


Sustainability & materiality

  • Viznut - Permacomputing - how to give computers a meaningful and sustainable place in human civilization that has a meaningful and sustainable place in the planetary biosphere.
Computer systems should also make their own inner workings as observable as possible. If the computer produces visual output, it would use a fraction of its resources to visualize its own intro- and extrospection. A computer that communicates with radio waves, for example, would visualize its own view of the surrounding radio landscape.

workflow & music production

lectures & podcasts


works & artistic practice

artistic publications

Phase #2: contextualize and outline

Erkki quotes small.jpg

Re-occurring themes:



  • misuse technology (systems) to keep control and autonomy
  • hacking into a prevailed (closed) system
  • publishing practices born out of necessity or technological limitations!
  • hidden digital processes translated to the physical material world
  • mixed modern and obsolete tech: new meaning emerges: but what is this meaning?
  • obsolete tech/systems (zombie media) as a methodology! (it's not about retro! it's about transparency)
  • the affordances

What meaning arises when we mix up the context: data to sound, sound to image, CPU to sound

PAGE closed: branched out to Thesis and Project proposal