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

Harmony Cardenas

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

Like several people, I had assumed that the behavior of storing info within a smaller-ish beige or black plastic square was extended lifeless. I vaguely don’t forget a time when they were glued to tech magazines but which is about it. Floppy Disk Fever, having said that, demonstrates that the existence of the obsolete medium in present-day society is ensured by a remarkably big community of fanatics, amateurs, artists and lecturers.

The ebook opens with an essay about the opportunity dangers and successful options of nostalgia. Its writer is Lori Emerson, an Associate Professor in the English Section and Director of the Intermedia Arts, Crafting, and General performance Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as the Founding Director of the Media Archaeology Lab. Which is the past time you are going to read from a girl in Floppy Disk Fever. The editors of the ebook admit that floppy disk fans come from various backgrounds but that the wide the vast majority of them are adult men from Europe and the US. It was hence challenging to replicate the comprehensive spectrum of humanity in a publication dedicated to floppy fervour.

Even while there is a man-cave vibe in these interviews, they are not about nostalgia, retro kitsch and ageing geekery. They are also about the contemporary world and the dematerialisation of most of our interactions with computing.


Pionierska Information


Floppies ready to be shipped to consumers of Floppydisk.com. Picture through Teknofilo

Niek Hilkmann, the principal editor of the book, organises floppy-centred activities as component of the Floppy Totaal festival in Rotterdam. That is where by he first received in call with quite a few of the individuals interviewed in this book. They are museum founders, archivists, artists, academics and amateurs and Hilkmann gets them to communicate about the modern use and inventive repurposing of the object.

The a few most fascinating interviews for me are the types with Tom Persky, Florian Cramer and Adam Frankiewicz.

Tom Persky, the founder of floppydisk.com, a company focused to marketing and recycling floppies, discusses the problems of operating his enterprise in the 2020s. That is where by i learnt that some medical products nonetheless involves floppies to purpose.

Florian Cramer, a study professor at the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute, has been establishing steps of intense compression in purchase to squeeze entire motion pictures onto the 1.44 MB of floppy disks since 2009. In the job interview, he talks about his desire in doing the job with constraints and why his function with floppies shatters the fantasy that digital engineering is digital and dematerialised.

Adam Frankiewicz is a theatre director and digital new music composer who founded an independent document label Pionierska Data in 2014 which publishes tunes solely on floppy disks.

Other floppy lovers contain Clint Basinger who generates content with obsolete tech on the Lazy Game Evaluate YouTube channel Nick Gentry who uses floppies and other obsolete media as raw material for artwork Foone Turing, a media collector and hacker who curated an exhibition on floppies at the Pc Record Museum in Fountain See Jason Curtis, a writer, librarian and collector who founded the Museum of Out of date Media in 2006 Bart van den Akker, the founder of the Residence Computer Museum Jason Scott, archivist at Net Archive, filmmaker, performer and historian of tech.

They talk about their romance with the demoscene and with retro lifestyle, the disappearance of bodily media, producing income from obsolete tech, heading 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 significance as cultural artefacts, and so forth.

Reading through the interviews did not change me into a floppy aficionado but i could see the issue of longing for a time when you could manipulate technologies and see how it worked.

P.S.: I found 2 phrases in the e book and seeking at them on the web sucked me into a vortex of intriguing stories and anecdotes. The to start with one particular is Sneakernet, the transfer of electronic information by physically shifting media (these kinds of as floppy disks or USB flash drives) rather than transmitting it over a computer system community. The 2nd is skeuomorphs, a spinoff object that retains decorative layout cues from their true-environment counterparts. The trash bin icon on your pc, for instance.

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