Students in the Lab

    We’ve given tours to hundreds of students and community members!

    CU classes from departments including Art/Art History, Computer Science, Engineering, English literature, Film Studies, Information Science, and Library Science have visited the lab. We have also hosted high school students from the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art Studio Project, and staff and faculty groups from across campus.

    Students visiting the lab engage in various ways ranging from free discovery time to focused assignments. General tours are a great starting place, but we like in-depth engagement even more. Instructors and professors are encouraged to develop assignments specific to the MAL.

    We have developed activities that can be modified for many types of classes, including prompts for self-guided exploration in the collections. For classes that demand more specific instruction, we work with professors to develop tailored assignments.

    The Dig

    The Dig is the creation of University of Colorado Boulder students enrolled in the Spring 2020 edition of INFO 3101 History of Computing and Information, under the supervision of Dr. Roshanna P. Sylvester.

    Visit: The Dig


    Our outreach work includes intra- and inter-institutional collaborations, curated exhibitions, conference presentations, workshops, and more.


    Hands-on workshops take a variety of shapes, usually related to getting familiar with - or changing perspective on - hardware and infrastructure. MAL PALs conduct some of our workshops, others are brought by special guests & artists/scholars in residence. Past workshops have included:


    The Dis-Repair Workshop was conducted by visiting artist Rob Duarte, in partnership with the Unstable Design Lab.

    Participants learned to hack broken and outdated mice and keyboards to create new physical interactions with computers. These are low-tech methods for creating sensors that allow for various forms of computer control without programming microcontrollers.

    At the same time, participants were introduced to the politics of interface and to the practice of creating poetic, confrontational, and deliberately difficult interfaces.


    Participants in DifferNet workshops are invited to manifest their invisible networks through drawing and movement exercises while exploring alternative network technologies including mesh networks and sneakernets.

    We've conducted DifferNet workshops in classrooms around the CU Boulder campus, at CMCI's NEST Studio, at the ournetworks conference, and at the Radical Networks conference.

    Take It Apart(y)!

    A breaking-party! Take It Apart(y)s are a time to learn about the parts that make up various technologies - a sort of pre-requisite on the path to learning how to repair your devices. Taking apart broken already broken tech is a way to learn about the insides of things without the fear of destroying something precious.

    We've conducted Take It Apart(y)s at our partner space the Blow Things Up Lab, in the Norlin Library CRDDS, at the Anythink Library in Thornton CO, at the Denver Art Museum, and even virtually with the Stanford Digital Aesthetics Workshop.

    Conferences, Symposia, Festivals, &tc.

    We are part of a rich artistic and scholarly community, which gives us the opportunity to be part of conferences, festivals and symposia both nearby and far away.

    MAL has participated in:

    Exhibitions and Off-Site Visits

    We've been fortunate to have the opportunity to take parts of the MAL collection to other locations on campus and around Colorado for visits - spaces including schools, museums and libraries. These visits provide a great opportunity to showcase our collection in new places and with audiences who may otherwise never find us.

    Some locations and exhibitions have included:

    • Alicia Sanchez Elementary After-School Enrichment

    • Aspen Art Museum

    • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

    • City Park Jazz Festival

    • Denver Art Museum

    • Library of Congress

    • Mysterium Tremendum: Collecting Curiosity at the CU Art Museum

    • Retro Media Pop-up at the Museum of Boulder

    • The Pueblo Public Library

    • Thornton Public Library

    Our Extended Community

    Founding Director

    Dr. Lori Emerson (Associate Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance Program, University of Colorado at Boulder)

    MAL PALs
    • Andrew Brandt (independent security developer)

    • Cooper Casale (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • E.L. Guerrero (virtual volunteer)

    • Caileigh Hudson (Undergraduate student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Darija Medic (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Jason Morley (virtual volunteer)

    • Jeremy Moskowitz (community member)

    • Eric Perez (community member)

    • Ian Scott (community member)

    • Jacob Turner (Master's student at the University of Denver)

    • Chris Torrence (community member)

    • Will Tuttle (community member)

    Academic Advisory Board
    • Johanna Drucker (Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor of Bibliography, UCLA)

    • Wolfgang Ernst (Professor, Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

    • Christopher Funkhouser (Associate Professor, New Jersey Institute for Technology)

    • Lisa Gitelman (Professor, New York University)

    • Garnet Hertz (Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts, Associate Professor, Emily Carr)

    • Erkki Huhtamo (Professor, UCLA Design Media Arts)

    • Matthew Kirschenbaum (Professor, University of Maryland)

    • Elizabeth Losh (Gale and Steve Kohlhagen Distinguished Professor, College of William & Mary)

    • Mark Matienzo (Director of Technology, Digital Public Library of America)

    • Tara McPherson (Chair and Professor, Cinema & Media Studies, University of Southern California)

    • Marisa Parham (Visiting Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Director of the African American Digital Humanities initiative)

    • Jussi Parikka (Professor in Technological Culture & Aesthetics, Winchester School of Art and Visiting Professor,FAMU, Prague)

    • Jason Scott (Filmmaker, Archivist, Historian of Computing)

    • Jacqueline Wernimont (Distinguished Chair, Digital Humanities and Social Engagement, Dartmouth College)

    • Darren Wershler (Associate Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature

    Managing Director

    Dr. libi rose striegl

    Past Curators

    Dr. Maya Livio (Assistant Professor, American University)

    Dr. Mél Hogan (Director, Environmental Media Lab)

    Student Research Fellows
    • Cooper Casale (Graduate Researcher)

    • Ian Hatcher (Graduate Researcher)

    • Darija Medic (Graduate Researcher)

    • Paulus Van Horne (Graduate Researcher)

    University of Colorado at Boulder Faculty Fellows

    Advisory Board


    John Ackerman, Jonathon Anderson, Apple Inc., Nicholas Arner, Amy Batchelor and Brad Feld, Donna Auguste, Avery Family (In memory of James Avery), Sue Baer, Rebecca Beshore and Family, Derek Beaulieu, Norie Bregman, Vinton Cerf, Bill Chapman, Roni Chen, Robert Craig, Darna Darfur, Kevin Driscoll, Rob Duarte, Paul Echeverria, Edwards family, Turing Erat, Rafael Fajardo, Stan Feld, Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, Fiske Planetarium, Ken Gagne, Julie Gemmel, William Glinkman, James Groom, Aryeh Goretsky, Lyla Hamilton, Christopher Heivly, Fred Herrmann, Michael Hiscox, Stefan Höltgen, John C. Hopkins, Larry Hunter, Dave Hyde, Jon Ippolito, David Izant, Lionel Kearns, Douglas Kimmel, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Aaron Kuhn, Kemp Langhorne, Deena Larsen, David Lee, Lynette Leiker, Amy Letter, Clayton Lewis, Judy Malloy, Neal McBurnett, Jason Mendelson, Alen Meyer, William Monninger, Keith Moore, Mark Morris, Stuart Moulthrop, Cynde Moya, Bo Olson, Elika Ortega, Janice Peck, Wade Peterson, Michael Preston, Mike Procopio, Randy Prunty, illiam Redak, JR Raith, Tasha Reynolds, Bill Riordan, Bruce W. Ristow (In Memory Of), Benjamin Robertson, Gary and Colleen Rynearson, Adam Sayles, Kathy Schmitt (in honor of Harry Edwards), Rachel Serres, Ben Shapiro, David Simmons, Benjamin Smith, Slaton Spangler, Stephanie Strickland, Chuck Strinz (In Memory of), Guy Stone, Timothy P. Sweeney, Christopher Torrence, Charles Tribble, Emily Velasco, James Vermillion, Kathleen Ward (In Memoriam), William Waite, Mark S. Weiner, Don Witte, Paul Zelevansky

    Partners & Affiliates

    Publications & Press

    Recently From the Lab

    The Lab Book: Situated Practices in Media Studies, University of Minnesota Press, 2022

    “How To Read a Network,” The Digital Reading Condition. Eds. Maria Engberg, Iben Have, Birgitte Pedersen. London: Routledge, 2022

    “Reclaiming the Future With Old Media” The Bloomsbury Handbook to the Digital Humanities. Ed. James O’Sullivan. London and New York: Routledge, 2022

    “Floppy Disks and a Curable Kind of Melancholia.” Floppy Disk Fever: The Curious Afterlife of a Flexible Medium. Eds. Niek Hilkmann and Thomas Walskaar. Eindhoven, NL: Onomatopee, 2022

    “The Net Has Never Been Neutral.” August 2021

    “Alternative Internets and Their Lost Histories.” Los Angeles Review of Books. April 2021

    “‘Did We Dream Enough?’ THE THING BBS As An Experiment in Social-Cyber Sculpture.” Rhizome. New York City, NY. December 2020

    “Afterword: Towards a Variantology of Hands-On Practice.” Early Modern Visual Culture 18 (2020): 93-101

    “Interfaced.” Further Reading. Eds. Matthew Ruberry and Leah Price. New York: Oxford UP, 2020. 350-362

    “Towards Feminist Labs: Provocations for Collective Knowledge-Making.” Critical Makers Reader. eds. Loes Bogers and Letizia Chiappini. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Institute of Network Cultures, 2019

    “Anarchive as Technique | The Media Archaeology Lab’s OLPC Mesh Network Project.” The International Journal of Digital Humanities (April 2019): 1-12

    “The Media Archaeology Lab as Platform for Undoing and Reimagining Media History.” Hands on Media History: A New Methodology in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Eds. John Ellis and Nick Hall. Routledge: 2019. 175-186.

    “Lab as Living Thing, Media Archaeological Fundus as Assemblage.” Achaeographies: A Festschrift for Wolfgang Ernst, Ed. Stefan Holtgen. Berlin, Germany: Schwabe Verlag Publishers (2019): 37-46

    “Excavating, Archiving, Making Media Inscriptions // In and Beyond the Media Archaeology Lab.” Inscription. Gothenburg, Sweden: Regional State Archives (2018): 247-272

    Recent Press About the Lab

    Neuer Retro-Trend – Musik auf Floppy-Disks,” Deutschlandfunk (March 2024)

    "Why the Floppy Disk Just Won’t Die," Wired Magazine (March 2023)

    "Floppy Disks Survive — Thanks to One 73-Year-Old’s Business," The New Stack (October, 2022)

    "The Media Archaeology Lab as Anti-Museum and Art Method," Tilt West Magazine (October, 2022)

    "Past is Prologue," Boulder Weekly (August, 2022)

    "The Unseen World," Heartland TV (February, 2021)

    "Boulder Weekly Best of Boulder 2019," Boulder Weekly (April, 2019)

    So Retro,” CNET (August 2018)

    Disks back from the dead,” Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science (May 2017)

    Obsolete No More,” Coloradan: University of Colorado Alumni Magazine (December 2016)