Floppy disk fever. The Curious Afterlives of a Flexible Medium – We Make Money Not Art


Floppy Disk Fever. The Curious Afterlives of a Versatile Medium explores the curious afterlives of the floppy disk in the twenty-to start with century by interviewing all those included with the medium right now. It was edited by artist, musician and researcher Niek Hilkmann and graphic designer and researcher Thomas Walskaar. Revealed by Onomatopee.

Like several men and women, I had assumed that the pattern of storing facts inside a tiny-ish beige or black plastic square was lengthy dead. I vaguely try to remember a time when they had been glued to tech publications but that’s about it. Floppy Disk Fever, nevertheless, demonstrates that the presence of the out of date medium in modern culture is ensured by a remarkably large community of fans, amateurs, artists and teachers.

The e book opens with an essay about the opportunity hazards and effective opportunities of nostalgia. Its writer is Lori Emerson, an Associate Professor in the English Division and Director of the Intermedia Arts, Crafting, and Overall performance Plan at the University of Colorado at Boulder as perfectly as the Founding Director of the Media Archaeology Lab. Which is the past time you will read from a lady in Floppy Disk Fever. The editors of the guide accept that floppy disk fanatics come from various backgrounds but that the vast the vast majority of them are adult males from Europe and the US. It was therefore complicated to replicate the total spectrum of humanity in a publication dedicated to floppy fervour.

Even even though there is a gentleman-cave vibe in these interviews, they are not about nostalgia, retro kitsch and ageing geekery. They are also about the present-day environment and the dematerialisation of most of our interactions with computing.

Pionierska Records

Floppies waiting to be transported to shoppers of Floppydisk.com. Image by using Teknofilo

Niek Hilkmann, the key editor of the ebook, organises floppy-centred gatherings as element of the Floppy Totaal competition in Rotterdam. That is wherever he to start with acquired in get hold of with lots of of the persons interviewed in this reserve. They are museum founders, archivists, artists, academics and amateurs and Hilkmann will get them to talk about the up to date use and creative repurposing of the object.

The 3 most appealing interviews for me are the types with Tom Persky, Florian Cramer and Adam Frankiewicz.

Tom Persky, the founder of floppydisk.com, a company dedicated to marketing and recycling floppies, discusses the difficulties of jogging his company in the 2020s. That is wherever i learnt that some health-related gear however involves floppies to operate.

Florian Cramer, a exploration professor at the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute, has been acquiring measures of extreme compression in buy to squeeze entire movies onto the 1.44 MB of floppy disks given that 2009. In the job interview, he talks about his fascination in operating with constraints and why his get the job done with floppies shatters the fantasy that digital technological know-how is digital and dematerialised.

Adam Frankiewicz is a theatre director and electronic songs composer who launched an independent document label Pionierska Records in 2014 which publishes tunes exclusively on floppy disks.

Other floppy lovers contain Clint Basinger who generates content material with out of date tech on the Lazy Recreation Evaluate YouTube channel Nick Gentry who employs floppies and other out of date media as uncooked material for artwork Foone Turing, a media collector and hacker who curated an exhibition on floppies at the Computer Background Museum in Fountain View Jason Curtis, a writer, librarian and collector who started the Museum of Obsolete Media in 2006 Bart van den Akker, the founder of the Home Computer system Museum Jason Scott, archivist at Web Archive, filmmaker, performer and historian of tech.

They speak about their romantic relationship with the demoscene and with retro culture, the disappearance of physical media, generating funds from obsolete tech, going by the hassle of combining aged and new tech, the appeal of “failed” formats, the interplay about aged and new, on the web and offline, media archaeology, their great importance as cultural artefacts, etcetera.

Looking through the interviews did not switch me into a floppy aficionado but i could see the level of longing for a time when you could manipulate technology and see how it labored.

P.S.: I learned 2 terms in the ebook and seeking at them on the net sucked me into a vortex of intriguing stories and anecdotes. The 1st 1 is Sneakernet, the transfer of digital information and facts by bodily moving media (this sort of as floppy disks or USB flash drives) somewhat than transmitting it above a laptop network. The second is skeuomorphs, a by-product item that retains decorative design cues from their genuine-environment counterparts. The trash bin icon on your laptop, for instance.

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