Media Archaeology and Experimental Technology

The ‘Media Archaeology and Experimental Technology’ priority area explores the following research questions:

  • what can digital humanities learn from media archaeology about contemporary digital culture and knowledge production?
  • how can experimental engagements with technology of the past, present and future facilitate arts, humanities and social science research?

This priority area focuses on media archaeology as a way of interrogating the digital. Media archaeology emphasises the material form of media apparatus and devices at the same time as questioning the way we think about technological transformation. It challenges traditional narratives about technical development or teleological accounts of progress, emphasizing instead discontinuities or the cyclical nature of change. Practically this means using, repairing and experimenting with older media apparatus in order to understand better the present. Experimental media archaeology can be seen as a form of ‘hands on history’ aimed at the kinds of tacit understanding we reveal when we re-enact or recreate the past.   

Equally this priority area will embrace experimental technology as a way of doing humanities and social science research. This includes using technologies such as 3D printing, AR, VR and photogrammetry to answer questions by making and creating as an alternative, or in addition to, more traditional modes of research.  

The priority area will build on past and ongoing work within the lab on topics ranging from 1980s computing and historic videogames (engaging with some of the renewed interest in gaming across MAH) through to repair culture and digital forensics. 

If you are interested in this area and would like to contribute please contact Ben Roberts 


Sussex Humanities Lab, SILVERSTONE SB211, Arts Road, Falmer, East Sussex, BN1 9RG