The interest in obsolete technologies has created an interest in a deeper discussion on what it is that makes certain items desirable for specialized audiences - an Ampex ATR-102 reel-to-reel recorder sells for roughly $17.000. Or, perhaps the more interesting question is the ways in which old technologies challenge present day practices, often shaped by the commodified structure that governs the development of the tools we use.

My lecture presentation was supposed to have music intermingle the presentation but a faulty channel in my introductory performance through me off and I ended up doing a performance and a presentation. I was playing on the Dataton 3000, a modular synthesizer and audio mixer designed in Sweden in the 1970’s. To attempt to understand the qualities the particularity of this instrument a wide range of parameters need to be considered related to the context in which it was originally created. Should this analysis not be successful there is a risk that the instrument’s proper qualities are misunderstood, or that one ends up recreating what has already been done with it, or both. This investigation, however, needs to stay in a dialectical relation between the needs explored through the present day exploration and the historical, social and political context that it emanates from.

In a wider scope of contemporary technologies the rate at which the development in general is progressing can turn objects sometimes less than a decade old incompatible with current systems. A hypothesis of this project is that by learning from early electronic instruments using the methods we have proposed it may be possible to better understand the complexities of what can be seen as media archaeology.

See also this post.

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