Friday, 19 August 2011

Chemical Media Archaeology: Recrystallization

Here are some pictures from the recent Recrystallization workshop by Jonathan Kemp, Martin Howse and Ryan Jordan that took place in Berlin July 18-20, 2011.

The workshop consisted of dismantling with various means computer hardware down to its material bits, including gold, so as to excavate some of the components of "digital life." This is less metaphoric than experimental approach to look at the continuum between the material and the political economic.

"recrystallization was convened around the premise that while life itself starts from aperiodic crystals that encode infinite futures within a small number of atoms, the digital crystallization of the flesh by capital limits these futures to the point of exhaustion."

In more detail, recrystallization (following from an earlier workshop by Kemp and Jordan in London) consisted of:

Three sets of concurrent, feedbacking play and activities across three days:

1] Attempting to recover minerals and metals (including copper, gold and silver) from abandoned computers through execution of various volatile and chemical processes

2] The re-crystallisation of these minerals in novel arrays using raw/renditioned mineral assemblies including piezoelectrics, positive feedback, colloidal dispersions

3] The re-purposing and embedding of components and structures within wider geological and geophysical systems

Microresearch lab's performances and projects touch a new side in media archaeology that opens up our constituent machines, with various means including the chemical, in order to excavate what kind of modulations of light and energy sustain our contemporary hallucinations.

Related was the recent live (on Berlin Reboot FM) "data carvery":

"Data carving treats the user’s hard drive (and memory chips) as a surface for constant excavation. Reverse engineering daily data sediments promotes new forms of digital archaeology, with hard disk trouvee as rich seams to be opened and mined for mineral and personal gems."

Digital archaeology is mobilized into new, artistic-experimental operations.

At times, media archaeology might come with a Health and Safety warning.

The image(s) by: Martin Howse and Kathrin G√ľnter.

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