Hunting for the ghosts of dead media

<file under dead-tech>


Schools are haunted by ghosts of old technologies – such as the chalkboard, text-book, overhead projector, attendance register and report card. The technical principles of these ‘dead media’ remain even though the technological artefacts might not. As Eugene Thacker (2014, p.129) puts it: “with dead media, the object is no longer in use, but the form of the object remains active”.

Our investigations of ‘digital schools’ therefore need to explore the traces and continuations of these dead technologies in the practices and technologies associated with the latest technologies …
  • How are old media forms being translated and ‘remediated’ into ostensibly new forms?
  • What disjunctions are evident “between an outmoded or outdated artefact and its still-active technical principle” (Thacker 2014, p.129)?
  • What is distinctly new about new media … and what is decidedly old?



Eugene Thacker (2014).  Dark media.  in Galloway, A., Thacker, E. and Wark, M. ‘Excommunication: three enquiries in media and mediation’  Chicago, University of Chicago Press (pp.77-149)