Monster Resurrection

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Artist David Link pays tribute to Tony Sale and three other British engineers and curators who practiced media archaeology long before the liberal arts discovered the theme.

Monster Resurrection, an archaeology of calculating machines is on display at ZKM in Karlsruhe from 4 December 2015 to 17 January 2016.

"Outdated machines are like monsters whose insides nobody understands any more – incomprehensible and scary. Once they’ve gone down it requires a joint effort of intellect and the art of engineering to bring them back to life again." David Link

Monster Resurrection is a video installation portraying four British engineers and curators who practiced media archaeology long before the liberal arts discovered the theme. Christopher P Burton, John Harper, Tony Sale and Doron Swade worked intensively over many years on reconstructing four machines, which represent some of the milestones in the history of computers.

Link's interviews recount the reconstruction of

  • Difference Engine No 2
  • the Manchester Baby
  • the Turing Bomb
  • Colossus.

The collection of interviews in Monster Resurrection follows the team leaders of these four projects, their careers, the emergence of their interest in old apparatuses and the completion of the reconstruction project in detail. What were the factors that made it possible to accomplish authenticity? And how were those machine parts identified where this was not possible? The interviews are supplemented by demonstrations of the four replicas, which provide an insight into how they work.

David Link was the winner of the inaugural Tony Sale award for his work LoveLetters.

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