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We’re happy to present the much-awaited third installment of our Internet Archaeology series, having trawled the web ceaselessly in the interim.

• Through accidents, spills, and Lovecraftian bubbling leaks, Los Angeles reveals its amorphous life above a still-active oil field.

– Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG), The Daily Beast

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• A personal obsession with emulating retro computer systems bookends a visionary account of information technology and the communities at its heart. [via Daniel Rehn]

– Paul Ford, Medium

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• An archival gem: 1970’s synthesizer magazine Synapse*, *replete with retro fonts, valuable DIY guides, and interviews with synth legendaries such as Robert Moog, Tom Oberheim, and Isao Tomita.

• Administered by the FBI, the world’s largest biometric data base recently reached “full operational capability” but the paranoid history of its underlying facial recognition technology goes back over 150 years.

– Jennifer Tucker, Boston Globe*

• Artist Paolo Cirio (who we interviewed previously) creates artworks that challenge the instruments of global power: financial loopholes, social network architecture, and now the politico-media complex. The Daily Pay Wall is a periodical composed of scraped essays from closed-access outlets edited to highlight discrepancies in the reporting of global economic events and published with an inverted, pay-to-read model. An unabashedly radical, refreshingly subversive gesture in support of informed readership and free culture. [via Nicholas O’Brien]

• Underscored by the New School’s recent conference on digital labor, conversations about the incipient sharing economy, automation, and a workforce that increasingly revolves around technology have become central to the concerns of network politics. McKenzie Wark, critical theorist and professor at the New School offers his account of the forces driving the resultant stratification of class and a strategy for socializing governance at a time when material and social determinants have been irreversibly coupled: the Anthropocene.

– McKenzie Wark, Dis

• An information theoretic approach to macroecology enables fragmented data to tell more complete stories about the relationship between resource use and speciation. A particularly important consideration as we begin to grapple with the changing climate.

– Veronique Greenwood, Quanta

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• In a more literal take on the subject of media archaeology, lost lunar photos were recovered by “techno-archaeologist” hackers working in an abandoned McDonald’s.

– Doug Bierend, Wired

• On the rhizomatic history of mesh networks and pivotal role of distributed communications in modern democratic organizing.

– Adam Rothstein, Rhizome

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• Explore the mesmerizing work of Lillian Schwartz, a pioneer of computer-generated composition and multimedia artistry while in residence at Bell Laboratories from 1969-2002. Schwartz’s site continues to be updated with some of her more obscure films. Above, an image from Olympiad which was also screened as part of our recent event Inventing Time on Film (program writeup forthcoming).


Cover photo: Hypercard illustration, S.C. Summers (J.R. Mooneyham), “The Rest of Our Lives: What It’ll Be Like” from FLUX Fall 93 v1.0.