Digital Archives and Cosmotechnics



Excerpted from the Archivist Manifesto by Yuk Hui (2013)

  1. on the technological side, one should become archivist instead of users, and manage one’s own digital objects and data, in order to create personal archives; software developers should pay attention to the development of softwares for personal archives of digital objects. This includes indexation, annotation of digital objects and the portability of data and metadata from one individual archive to another archive or another system; these metadata and annotation can be used for search use.


  2. opening up institutional archives and allows self-archiving, meaning archivists can download these digital objects. Institutional archives can still keep their own objects in a single place, but if users can download, share and annotate their own collections, and then contribute their metadata to institutional archives, this will significantly vitalize archives and move further from the ambition of the moderns described by Foucault (e.g. decentralized archive).


  3. individual archives can share with each other. This may recall us of the early idea of Napster, an idea based on P2P sharing. But it is not exactly the same, since in the framework I proposed, at centre is not the question of exchange of good, but rather of care, of preserving and giving, to get away from the crowdsourcing logic and most importantly to imagine a technological humanism, as was once proposed by Gilbert Simondon.



“human individuality finds itself more and more disengaged from the technical function by the construction of technical individual – but it creates actually a malaise, because human, always searching to be technical individual, no longer has a stable place next to machine: he becomes servant of machine or organisers of technical ensemble” excerpted from Modes of Existence of the Technical Object by Gilbert Simondon



Sebastian Schmieg

Five Years Of Captured Captchas, leporello books, captcha archives, 2017

Networked Optimization, crowdsourced versions of popular self-help books, collaboration with Silvio Lorusso, 2013

Sebastian Schmieg - 56 Broken Kindle Screens

56 Broken Kindle Screens, print-on-demand paperback, e-book, collaboration with Silvio Lorusso, 2012

“56 Broken Kindle Screens” is a print on demand paperback that consists of found photos depicting broken Kindle screens. The Kindle is Amazon’s e-reading device which is by default connected to the company’s book store.
The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device’s materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements.” Sebastian Schmieg 2017

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