A Manifesto for Digital Spectrology

Digital Spectrology is that dirty work of a cultural theorist who wants to understand how power works in the age of circuitry. Power circulates not only in human spaces of cities, organic bodies or just plain things and objects. Increasingly, our archaeologies of the contemporary need to turn inside the machine, in order to illuminate what is the condition of existence of how we think, see, hear, remember and hallucinate in the age of software. This includes things discarded, abandoned, obsolete as much as the obscure object of desire still worthy of daylight. As such, digital archaeology deals with spectres too; but these ghosts are not only hallucinations of afterlife reached through the media of mediums, or telegraphics, signals from Mars, the screen as a window to the otherwordly; but in the electromagnetic sphere, dynamics of software, ubiquitous computing, clouds so transparent we are mistaken to think of them as soft. Media Archaeology shares a temporality of the dead and zombies with Hauntology. Dead media is never actually dead. So what is the method of a media archaeologist of technological ghosts? She opens up the hood, looks inside, figures out what are the processual technics of our politics and aesthetics: The Aesthetico-Technical.

- inspired by the work of MicroResearchlab – Berlin/London, the short text was written for Julian Konczak/Telenesia.


Media Archaeology, Dead Media, Zombie Media


In his "A Manifesto for Digital Spectrology," Jussi Parikka compels the reader to use obsolete technology as a lens to 'look inside the machine.' All media have an afterlife that informs present technologies. "A Manifesto for Digital Spectrology" mobilizes the afterlife of obsolete technologies toward a method for interpreting, analyzing, and archiving the software and hardware of the present.


Jussi Parikka






June 19, 2011




Digital Anthropology, Media Archaeology, & Media Ecology


Zombie Media, Media Archaeology