• Where [arts-integrated interdisciplinarity] works best...is when you have these people who are great at their first assignment and you make it easy for them to cross boundaries in their second assignment.
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Media Archaeology Lab

  • October 24, 2013
  • By Lori Emerson     
MAL houses obsolete media from the early twentieth century to the twenty-first century.


 

Founded in 2009 and currently part of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Department of English, the Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) houses obsolete media from the early twentieth century to the twenty-first century for hands-on research, teaching, and research creation. Insofar as nearly everything in the lab is still functioning and is meant to be turned on and used by teachers, researchers, and artists it is the largest of its kind North America. It is, however, very closely aligned with a few museums in the country such as the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, WA (run by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen) and the Digital Den in Cambridge, MA whose collection is roughly the same size as the MAL’s. The MAL, then, is utterly unique in how it is a remarkable configurable conceptual object that, depending on how you approach it, houses items for research and teaching, items that actually generate research; is a site for artistic interventions, experiments, projects; is an archive for media objects; is an archive for original works of digital art/literature along with their original platforms. It belongs equally in literature departments, art departments, media studies departments, history of technology programs, computer science departments, libraries and archives.