Arche-Scriptures – Our digital traces in the future-past

Created by Alberto Harres at HfK Bremen, ‘Arche-Scriptures‘ explores ceramics as a possible medium to store digital information. An artifact found at a speculative archeological dig-site is being scanned by a decrypting machine, through which the visitor is invited to listen as the original audio data engraved onto the ceramics is slowly retrieved and sonified. The experience offers a glimpse on a possible future past, it speculates on the future of our digital traces through an ancestro-futuristic perspective, provoking a discussion about continuity, preservation and archiving.

ARCHE-SCRIPTURES revolves around understanding ceramics as a possible medium to store digital information. It “emerges from an impossibility, from the ambivalence between two disparate realms: archaism and future” – it proposes an archaic digital medium, a paradox of fragility and permanence, which seeks to “resignify the assumed linearity between past and future, deconstruct the idea of vertical time, history and technology” (BORGES, Fabi).

The data stored in the ceramic pieces consists of voice recordings extracted from the Pandemic Archive of Voices. In the headphones one can listen to the software attempting to read back the engraved information. The surviving piece being decrypted by the machine has engraved the sound of the word “dalijna”, meaning “distance”.

Created using Processing/Arduino (see archeReaderController) and Python/OpenCV Code used in Master Project Exhibition and Browser display software.

Project Page | Alberto Harres (Instagram)

See also The Petroglyphomat – Positive vandalism machine by Lorenz Potthast