MALware Technical Reports

MALware technical reports document events, research, teaching, and artist residencies taking place in and through the lab. Rather than white papers which are typically authoritative statements about solutions or policies, our technical reports are intended to be more processual – they can describe the progress or process of teaching, research or artistic activity in the MAL, or they may simply outline a particular problem in or related to the MAL. Our hope is that these technical reports provide a media studies and humanities-oriented outlet for investigations into technology.


Author & TitlePublishedAbstract 
James Hodges
Timothy Leary’s ​Mind Mirror
10/2016Research concerning the cultural, historical, and technical significance of software and computer-related artifacts presents several unique methodological challenges. This technical report uses ​Timothy Leary​’s Mind Mirror (Electronic Arts, 1985/1986) as a case study in ways that new users may begin to identify physical, textual, and bibliographic features unique to a given software artifact. Specific features investigated relate to the many computing environments, hardware/software configurations, copying techniques, and supplementary documentation comprising ​Mind Mirror today. The methods used to investigate these features are presented not only as approaches to analyzing ​Mind Mirror, but also as ways to approach historical software in general. These methods include software execution across a variety of platforms, as well as textual analysis of supporting documents and electronic file analysis using hex editors.Downloadable PDF
Jamie Allen
How to Build a Lie
07/2016How to Build a Lie experiments with “artistic research practice” that tries to escape disciplinary boundaries and look to as many aspects of a single technology, media, or topic as it can. This extra-disciplinary practice, as Brian Holmes and others have intimated, intersects with media and technology to direct artistic work toward institutional critique without aesthetic distance. How to Build a Lie is gonzo media studies that engages directly – physically and operationally – with the technological structures that frame our lives. What would it be to do research, but include the material engagements and framings of media, as a kind of hands-on technical inquiry?
The text of this book was presented as a lecture on May 16, 2016, as part of Jamie Allen’s exhibit “How to Build a Lie: Apocryphal Technologies & Works” at the Dateline gallery in Denver, and also as part of his artist residency in the Media Archaeology Lab in May 2016.
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Counterpath Press
libi rose striegl Heyer Inc. Conqueror Stencil Duplicator 177708/2017This document serves as a brief look at the history of mimeography generally and of the Heyer Inc. Conqueror Stencil Duplicators specifically. In addition, it serves as a technical manual for the operation of the Conqueror Stencil Duplicators that are housed in the collection at the Media Archaeology Lab and a record of the sensory experience of interaction with them. Finally, it offers some speculative propositions for revitalizing the machines for present day use.Downloadable PDF
libi rose striegl Alternative Taxonomies05/2018Research techniques proposed for alternative Media Archaeology engagement, using Borges’ "Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge" as a starting point. Three possible categorical systems proposed for arranging the materials in the MAL, to provide new anarchival interactions with the artifacts. These non-traditional modes of categorization could provide potential groundwork for new research, avenues for deeper student engagement, or other unforeseen knowledge creation. The suggested models for organization are: Emotional, Sensory and Economic. These are alternatives to the current organization system in the catalog, which is based in function, and the present organizational strategy in the lab, which is broadly based both in function and in temporal location.Downloadable PDF
Elana Lev Friedland MALevolence06/2018This report documents the soundscape the author created which takes participants from the front door of the Media Archaeology Lab through all of its rooms while following a disjointed, dream-like narrative. Listeners are asked to engage in a number of experiments. These exercises entailed a mixture of imagining and concrete, corporeal tasks. Other components of the audioscape include remembrances from childhood that occurred at the intersections of family and media. A chief aim of the project was to tap into the realm of nostalgia without veering into sentimentality while also serving as an overview of the MAL's space and objects.Downloadable PDF
A. Grace Wilson Magic Lantern GIF Creation06/2018The author describes the process and value behind the re-creation of modern short-form visual entertainment, in this case a GIF of 2007 Internet phenomenon Keyboard Cat, using a magic lantern from 1910. In the context of the MAL’s mission of living the past to see the present, this venture has power. GIF creation and dissemination is a momentary process in a digital sphere, but when slowed down to account for the practical demands of physical productions, the considerations of what constitutes worth, optimization, and fidelity are changed.Downloadable PDF