The Ferranti Mark 1 (1948–1958), the world’s first commercially available electronic computer, was used to create some of the earliest computer music and video games. This talk, by artist and media archaeologist David Link, detailed the problems and solutions of resurrecting software for the Ferranti Mark 1.
Link’s research in the field of software archaeology, which belongs to the broader field of archaeology of algorithmic artifacts, proceeds in a theoretical and practical way at the same time. As humans increasingly problem solve through machines and software, history must also account for algorithmic artifacts. Link’s art installations and performances have been shown all over the world, and he won the 2012 Tony Sale Award for computer conservation. His current research focuses on the development of an archaeology of algorithmic artifacts. Recent exhibitions include at Arnolfini, Bristol; MU, Eindhoven; and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel.
Observer Effects offered a dialogue between the fields of art and science. The title was derived from the principle in physics that the act of observation transforms the observed, an idea that has been influential in philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and politics.