Media Vintage (2009)

Melissa Coleman

Sponsor: V2_Lab, Host: V2_Lab

Media Vintage is a series of interactive electronic textiles that contain memories. Alpha is a suitcase in which you can weave temporary secret messages in Morse code. Bravo is a tapestry that sings a song from long ago when your fingers read the embroidered Braille. Charlie is a trench-coat that reads fabric punchcards and tells you stories from an old man’s life.

The project is inspired by an article by Bruce Sterling in The Book of Imaginary Media, in which he points out that new media become obsolete faster than old ones. Media Vintageis critical of the storage of digital data in black boxes, which become inaccessible shortly after another storage medium becomes the norm. It remembers a time when technology was built to last and tries to imagine how digital data storage could be visual, physical and meaningful. In Media Vintage, digital information is physically stored in textiles and read through interaction. The textiles make digital data, which is so abstract and fleeting, readable by both man and machine.

Media Vintage was made during an artist-in-residency at V2_. The project was presented at a Test_Lab Event at the Ars Electronica 2009 and at the Summer Sessions Test_Lab at V2_ in Rotterdam.

The three works were also installed and presented at Cross Lab: video

Concept & Design: Melissa Coleman
Special thanks: Piem Wirtz, Stan Wannet, Simon de Bakker, Meg Grant, Joachim Rotteveel and George Spindler

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.