Prehistory for Today’s Magnetic Media
This prehistory matters because it not only contextualizes contemporary computing and today’s magnetic media through mechanical age audio cultures. It also sparks some speculation about what artifacts are not at hand, in the archive, or on file—about what does not ultimately go into storage. If, during the development of early magnetic technologies and media, the perfect record would never lie and would never be written, then we must ask how such a record was actively constructed, through what material procedures of impression and playback, and in what relation to transforming notions of proof, evidence, perception, and memory. To be clear, then, this prehistory is an account of making records, not giving or taking them.