Fragile Storage, Digital Futures
Keywords:archive, data storage, materiality, media, virtual worlds
This essay argues for an alliance between media archaeology, the archaeological analysis of material culture, and the digital humanities. This alliance would be devoted towards understanding the materiality of hardware and the performativity of software, accounting for the past, present, and future of born-digital cultural artifacts that have no original medium beyond the computer. It claims that more attention needs to be given to the specific material conditions required to preserve and maintain digital storage, which is too often imagined as both ephemeral and everlasting. It provides a series of questions and provocations that would potentially be addressed by this alliance.
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