Founded in 2009 and generously supported by the Department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the motto of the Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) is that “the past must be lived so that the present can be seen.” Nearly all digital media labs are conceived of as a place for experimental research using the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available. By contrast, the MAL – which is the largest of its kind in North America – is a place for cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching using obsolete tools, hardware, software and platforms, from the past. The MAL is propelled equally by the need to both preserve and maintain access to historically important media of all kinds – from magic lanterns, projectors, typewriters to personal computers from the 1970s through the 1990s – as well as early works of digital literature/art which were created on the outdated hardware/software housed in the lab.
But the MAL's website has yet to fully encompass the playfulness of the laboratory space. Every machine is functional, allowing students to tinker with tech ranging from computer interfaces to phonographs--but in contrast, the website is limited to 2-D information and images. Master's students Erin Cousins and Jillian Gilmer, inspired by the construction of knowledge via unguided play, hope to create a virtual reality tour of this space that imitates the freedom and creative openness of the Media Archaeology Lab itself.
Risks and challenges
We anticipate the risks and challenges of this project will lie in working across interdisciplinary lines, learning how to use our hard equipment, and testing the limits of our software's capacity.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)