The Materiality of Media Infrastructure
Deep time of the museum
What is the environmental burden carried by museums? What is the material and energetic footprint of digital heritage? How can the cultural assets of memory institutions be sustained in an age of increasing black-boxed media technologies, obsolescence and toxic waste? The dissertation aims to address these challenges through a multi-disciplinary and materialist approach toward museums, media and cultural heritage. By an extensive excavation of the museum as a media infrastructure, the study seeks to understand the materiality of digital heritage as based in the growing entanglements of media devices, energy and material resources. Two experimental design interventions within and beyond the museum walls are presented that explore novel ecological media infrastructures and operative methods. Finally, a design framework is synthesized that provides guidelines for museums and their user communities towards shaping an ecological institution.