Digital culture meet analog fever ray

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digital culture meet analog fever ray

Browse a list of the best all-time articles and videos about Fever from all over A Cultural History of the Fever . Digital Culture, Meet Analog Fever The official video for 'If I Had A Heart', taken from Fever Ray's debut album. Digital Culture, Meet Analog Fever . simple questions when doctors are proposing an intervention, whether an X-ray, genetic test or surgery. Since then, I've been tuned in to evidence that our digital culture appears to have a case of analog fever. The rising sales of vinyl records.

Alternative epistemologies for understanding the materiality of digital archives make different epistemological and ontological assumptions about the relations between things and people. Such approaches include close readings of file formats and digital codecs and the ways in which they interlink human eyes with media infrastructures e.

These alternative epistemologies offer ways of approaching the materiality of digital artifacts that fill in some of the blind spots of digitization and digital forensics. A critical approach to the materiality of media archives must also investigate the preservation infrastructures and standards that support archival practice. Infrastructures increasingly shape the patterns of media distribution and how media appear, as well as shaping the practices of archivists working with media and the construction of legitimized institutional knowledge in preservation institutions.

By their nature, social institutions work to stabilize and reproduce particular practices and forms of knowledge. In a sense, institutions are social infrastructures in themselves.

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Technical infrastructures are intertwined with the social infrastructures of institutions, often times mediated by standards, protocols, documents and artifacts that bind social and technical aspects of infrastructure. Networked information and media infrastructures both enable and require political power from a far.

digital culture meet analog fever ray

Like the roads of Rome, networked infrastructures bind the empire together and enable their own management and maintenance. Digital archivists are likely cognizant of the infrastructures they depend on for access to digital collections, but their awareness needs to be extended beyond the pragmatics of preservation to include the larger political economic and ecological phenomena within which these infrastructures are enmeshed.

Standards are increasingly understood to be particularly important tools in sustaining infrastructures, and they circulate around the globe and ensure that infrastructures can function by promoting uniformity across different institutions.

Standards also invoke categories and make distinctions about things and actions in the world, shaping infrastructure and institutions Bowker and Star, Because standards are both technical and textual, we can study their circulation as documents, and the processes by which they become embedded in particular technological forms, and then diffused or integrated into local practices.

Standards including Internet protocols, see Galloway, are common forms of codified knowledge that circulate across communities to ensure uniformity and sameness within processes or products across space and time. In the case of formal technical standards, such as JPEG, they are represented in written documents developed through standardizing organizations e.

Standards play an increasingly important role in shaping preservation practice and they integrate the work of archivists into digitization systems and digital repositories. Standards increasingly impact work done in preservation institutions. Digitization standards are particularly important, as more and more institutions are adopting digitization as a strategy for access and long-term preservation.

Digitization is providing access to the archives of the future, and standards are effectively shaping how collections will appear to future generations. Standards also play an important role in the circulation of digitized media. They help establish common formats for distribution and access, and for long-term archiving which could be seen as a sort of temporal distribution to a future, indeterminate time, when it is hoped that the content can be decoded and displayed.

Because of these embedded power dynamics, the process of adopting standards within a community can become a process fraught with controversy and can reveal institutional and epistemological tensions between social actors. The case of JPEG, and the controversy surrounding its adoption in the preservation field for preserving analog video material, offers an example of the ways in which seemingly mundane standards can embody political, social, and epistemic forces that have real effects on preservation institutions, archival practice and the form of digitized media artifacts.

Lischer-Katz conducted a discourse analysis on a corpus of postings collected from the Association of Moving Image Archivists AMIA listserv between the years and These e-mail messages contained discussions within the moving image preservation community about adopting the JPEG file format for encoding digitized analog video content for long-term preservation. These postings were analyzed in terms of how knowledge was constructed around the topic. What evidence is sufficient or necessary to implement standards?

The detractors of JPEG work to continually shift the burden of proof back from the rhetoric of expert opinion to direct experience with the technology, privileging individual experience with the technology over the knowledge of experts Lischer-Katz, The case of JPEG shows how focusing on standards and their role in mediating infrastructures and institutions can identify points of tension between different parts of the preservation community, drawing attention to otherwise unseen power differentials in the field.

As more and more media collections are digitized, understanding the work of archives and the materiality of preserved media artifacts hinges on taking into account the important role played by standards. Built inthe bunker was originally designed to safely house millions of dollars in paper currency that could be used to jump-start the U. This underground site has been completely gutted, refitted with the latest archival cooling and heating technologies, with a forest of trees replanted on the site to hide the structure and return the hilltop to a pastoral vista it was also a strategic site in the Civil War as a place of panoramic views and source of military intelligence gathered from distant horizons.

Digitizing the millions of media objects in the collection will likely generate exabytes millions of terabytes of data by Snyder, Because of the nature of preserving digital information, constant copying and checking of this huge collection is required to keep it accessible over time. Library of Congress, The construction of this archival facility within a decommissioned Cold War bunker, coupled with the implementation of large scale, industrial-grade tape and spinning disc storage dramatizes the relationship between military funding and information research.

It reminds us that the Internet, too, had its origins as a mechanism for nuclear survival.

digital culture meet analog fever ray

Materialism makes us reconsider the meaning of sites, architectural forms, and specific infrastructural formations, in the context of large-scale social and political forces. Thinking about archives in this way emphasizes the large ecological impact of preservation. Similarly, archives rely upon the same systems of energy distribution for preserving these energy-intensive media artifacts, yet the problems of long-term energy use associated with the preservation of archival collections have only recently been addressed within the archiving community.

For a system that requires considerable amounts of electricity, the viability of archives is bound up in the sustainability of energy production, linking media archives to global systems of ecological and political forces.

Using the analytics of materiality and infrastructure can help us address different scales of infrastructure, as well as assess the role of preservation within systems that operate under neoliberal policies and enact systems of cybernetic control.

Considering materiality in media studies opens up new avenues of research into technical systems related to media archives, including the resources and labor that go into producing media devices, and the ecological concerns e. Gitelman suggests that the ways in which media artifacts can be known and the systems that enable them to be played back help to shape their meaning. This notion is already well understood by bibliographic theorists e. The field of media archiving and preservation is concerned with ensuring the long-term physical and intellectual persistence of media artifacts deemed to have significant value within a particular institutional context archive, library or museumso the call to considering materiality and infrastructure at first seems like an affront to a professional practice already focused on the material support of media.

However, some dimensions of this materiality must be lost in the process of copying. Finally, a focus on the materiality of media infrastructures produces a rich model for conceptualizing archiving along the lines of a communication network that has both extension in space — between repositories, document creators and scholars and other users — and in time, to an indeterminate array of unknown future users and uses.

This infrastructure is built and maintained in a state of uncertainty since future states of the world always maintain some degree of indeterminacy that predictive models can never overcome. For instance, particular types of video files may become unplayable in future computer systems, electrical grids may no longer be reliable enough to run the tape libraries for digital archives, and display systems may change [ 28 ].

Conclusion Postmodern perspectives on archives have called into question traditional notions of the archive as a neutral conduit for accessing the records of the past see Cook, ; Schwartz and Cook, ; at the same time, digitization impacts how archival media artifacts are perceived and how meaning is made through scholarly interpretation Manoff, The call to critically investigate the materiality of media archives is becoming particularly dire as the predicted effects of anthropogenic climate change continue to grow in magnitude, and the long-term preservation of media archives becomes increasingly bound up in the long-term survival of humanity itself.

Archivists Responding to Climate Change, founded in Archivists are being called upon to acknowledge the dire preservation risks associated with anthropogenic climate change and to integrate this knowledge into their archival practice see Tansey, When studying viewing patterns, understanding the archive as infrastructure becomes a critical analytic strategy because it helps to denude a site of power that is responsible for shaping our knowledge of the visible past.

Regimes of intellectual property protections, standards and protocols, along with large-scale digital infrastructures span the globe and shape how visual information may circulate. Infrastructures, standards, codes, ecologies, etc. Critically investigating these materialities reveals the central position of the archive as infrastructure in shaping the global circulation of knowledge, which suggests that the digitization of media old and new brings the media archive as an active agent, rather than a passive repository, into the struggle for global control over the viewing patterns of our records of visual memory.

About the author Zack Lischer-Katz, just finishing up his Ph. He was co-organizer and programming coordinator for the and editions of Extending Play, a play and game studies conference hosted by the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. When a machine runs efficiently, when a matter of fact is settled, one need focus only on its inputs and outputs and not on its internal complexity.

Packer and Crofts Wiley,p. Bowker and Star,p. Coole and Frost,p. In the Association of Research Libraries formally endorsed digitization as a technique for preserving library materials Arthur, et al. Derrida and Prenowitz,p. Leonardi,paragraph Donaldson and Yakel,pp. Brunsson and Jacobsson,p. Timmermans and Epstein,p. The problem of preserving media display devices has become a significant obstacle in the archiving of media art.

Some artists have strict specifications about display devices. Montori, and Judith Nadler, Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Classification and its consequences. Lights, camera, natural resources.

Nils Brunsson and Bengt Jacobsson, A world of standards. Diana Coole and Samantha Frost, Diana Coole and Samantha Frost editors. Ontology, agency, and politics. Duke University Press, pp. Lisa Darms and Lawrence Giffin, Devan Ray Donaldson and Elizabeth Yakel, The archival turn in feminism: Digital memory and the archive. But he sometimes paused to give these images a dreamlike langor. Tai Chi 0 never lingers on anything and instead carries the level of busyness to crazier heights.

In a panel at the Asian Film Summit, Fung explained that one scene of the film was inspired by a particular online game. Sammo Hung was playing Fruit Ninja or something similar and Fung decided to include a scene of villagers turning away invading soldiers with a barrage of produce. Fung said as well that fantasy martial arts remains a blockbuster genre in the PRC viz.

Tai Chi 0 ends on a cliff-hanger, the end titles rolled too fast to read provide a trailer for part 2, and apparently a third part is in the works. Now China has franchise fever. The stop-and-start plot is familiar from Hong Kong films of the 70s onward including over-made-up gwailo villainsbut its execution wrecks nearly everything I like about classic kung-fu movies.

Digital photography, after all, remains photography. The lens intercepts a sheaf of light rays and fastens their array on a medium. All of these catastrophes are kept offscreen, glimpsed in TV reportage.

The oldest couple refuses to evacuate, clinging to their farm. Their son and his wife move to a nearby city where they succumb to the fear of radiation affecting their unborn child.

Sono intercuts the three lines of action. In a critique of Japanese conformity, the young couple is shown being mocked for their worries about radiation poisoning.

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The wife seals their apartment and, in a touch recalling the grotesque side of Sono, takes to wearing a Hazmat suit. Less sharply developed are the fairly aimless ramblings of the youngest couple, though Sono injects some suspense when they dodge police blockades. At intervals, plaintive Mahler a Sono weakness surges up to underscore the futility of their search. Instead, Sono celebrates a dogged persistence to get through each day.

Like Rossellini filming in bombed Berlin in Germany Year Zero, Sono has shot precious footage of ruins that testify to a calamity in which nature conspired with human blunders. And he did it digitally. The boy Tong and the girl Phon meet from time to time on the terrace of the hotel overlooking the river. They talk about folk traditions and the flood then besieging Thailand. More shocking are the ghosts called Pobs who seem to possess the characters and make them hunch over and gobble intestines, sometimes in situations that suggest the organs have been torn from another character.

All these scenes are handled with the usual Weerasethakul tact: Mekong Hotel seems to operate on two planes of time. On the image track and in the dialogue, we witness Tong and Phon on the terrace or walking along the river. But the music, snatches of repetitive guitar tunes, seems to come from another time frame.

At the start we see a guitarist practicing, and his noodlings run almost constantly under the drama we see. Another motif, fixed and lustrous shots of the Mekong River, yields a visual if not dramatic climax: We all know that the s continued well into the s, and here Assayas shows the uneasy carryover with a mixture of sympathy and critical detachment. The poles come to be represented by two young women—the wealthy and ethereal Laure for whom he makes his paintings and the more hardheaded leftist rebel Christine, who goes out with him and others on nightly graffiti raids.

When Laure leaves for London, Gilles continues his painting while leafleting and splashing slogans on walls, with the occasional Molotov cocktail to spice things up. He encounters the arguments that made me smile in nostalgia: But how shall we reach the working class if our films are opaque? After an early, shocking clash of students pounded down in a police riot, the film adopts a more circumspect rhythm, salting its scenes with books, magazines, record albums, and songs of the time.

Characters meet, work or play together, drift apart, re-converge, and eventually settle into something like grown-up life. But at the end, when Gilles has apparently been absorbed into commercial filmmaking in London, he is granted one last vision of one of his Muses, who reaches out for him from the screen of the Electric Cinema. Analog triumphs as well in The Master.

Not a scratch, not a speck of dust, not a streak of chemicals, and no grain. So did it have that cold, gleaming purity that digital is supposed to buy us?

digital culture meet analog fever ray

Not to my eye. Now we know the way to make movies look fabulous: Shoot them on Followers of The Cause are encouraged, through gentle but mind-numbingly repetitious exercises, to probe their minds and reveal their pasts.