Day 3: Discussions, prototyping and first experiments:
The first two days we had a lot of input; from experts, from our field trip to an e-waste recycling facility in Amstetten and from each other in form of artist presentations. So on day 3 we started with digesting a bit all this input. We created a mind-map covering some main points such as privacy, ownership, trust, transformation, memory, forgetting, storage migration etc. that we wanted to focus on the upcoming days both through discussions as well as in hands-on experiments. Each of us proceeded to either making hands-on exploration, diving deeper into the data trying to interpret it, into research or discussions in smaller groups over concepts and ideas. While working in the same space exchanges happened naturally and each of us enjoyed the collaborations. With contact microphones and a magnet sensor we figured out that each hard-drive has an unique sound profile. Michael was dismantling one of the hard-drives and with his microscope we could all experience a new close up view on various parts of the hard-drive. Hard-drive 20 was rich on data and some of us where working on identifying its owners or understanding their behaviors by analyzing images. Emöke found over 800 viruses or suspect files on the recovered hard-drives which also describes their condition. Before dinner we wraped-up the day by sharing our work, questions and research. Some questions that had emerged from the discussions were about: our relationship to the data that we constantly produce and consume, strategies and commercialization of so called ‘infomation detox’, data-diets during which we escape our digital life and the life cycle of the hard-drives from production to the e-waste dump.
Day 4: More prototyping and experimentation:
Matthias brought along an old Thomas Edison phonograph with a 2min recording/playback wax cylinder. The idea was to record a spinning hard disc, process it on the pc by using ableton and pd, record it on the wax roll and then play it back and record it on the computer again. So to go through the whole cycle of storing data from one medium onto another old storage form. An interesting test to see what information you loose during the migration process. In the end of the day each of us presented a concept which each intend to develop for the AMRO 2016 festival. In the evening after dinner we watched the “Behind the Screen” documentary that exposes stages of a computers life cycle from extraction of raw materials to disposal.
Day 5: Wrap-up
The 5th day we had our last breakfast together, an evaluation and discussion how to proceed. The exchange of ideas had been inspiring. All of us were both energized and tired after the intense weekend. We discussed how to continue working online and about possibilities to meet ones more before the AMRO 2016 festival. Just before the farewell of the first participants, who had to catch their flight, we still had time to make a quick tour in the servus.at data center.