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

    Scavenger Hunt

    Authored by MAL Pal Chris Torrence, this Scavenger Hunt is a way to encourage students and other visitors to explore the lab.



    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    Participants learned to hack broken and outdated mice and keyboards to create new physical interactions with computers.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:

    Our Extended Community

    Founding Director

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


    Dr. libi rose striegl


    Maya Livio (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    Student Research Fellows
    • Renata Baretta

    • Eliseo Ortiz

    • Paulus Van Horne

    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)

    Advisory Board

    Docents & MAL PALs
    • Andrew Brandt (independent security developer)

    • Collin Brockway (community member)

    • Mally Dietrich (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Dave Hartzell (community member)

    • Amanda Hurtado (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Devon Keyes (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Eric Magnuson (independent coder)

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

    • Bronwyn Olstein (MA student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Chris Torrence (National Snow and Ice Data Center)

    • Will Tuttle (community member)

    • Autumn Tyler (Master’s student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Biyi Wen (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    • Grace Wilson (community member)

    • Shanel Wu (PhD student at University of Colorado at Boulder)

    University of Colorado at Boulder Faculty Fellows


    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, William Waite, Mark S. Weiner, Don Witte, Paul Zelevansky

    Partners & Affiliates

    Publications & Press

    From the Lab

    MAL Director Lori Emerson and Manager libi rose striegl publish "Anarchive as technique in the Media Archaeology Lab | building a one Laptop Per Child mesh network" in International Journal of Digital Humanities (April 2019)

    Jay Kirby interviews Director Lori Emerson about the MAL and related research projects in the International Journal of Communication (June 2016)

    MAL Director Lori Emerson writes “Das Media Archaeology Lab” in Retro: Computer | Spiele | Kultur. English version “Media Archaeology Lab: Opening the Archive, Disrupting the Museum” (July 2014)

    Natalie Baur interviews MAL director Lori Emerson for Infotecarios blog: “La arqueología mediática: entrevista a Lori Emerson” (November 2013). English version is available here.

    Matthew Sparks interviews MAL director Lori Emerson for Radio 1190 on “And So It Goes” (October 2013)

    Marcus Smith interviews MAL director Lori Emerson for BYU Radio, 143 Sirius XM (October 2013)

    Amy Letter interviews MAL director Lori Emerson for The Rumpus: “Open the Pod Bay Doors, MAL: The Rumpus Interview with Lori Emerson” (September 2013)

    Kristen Gallagher interviewes MAL Director Lori Emerson on Jacket Magazine 2: “Why archive dead media?” (February 2013)

    Trevor Owens interviews MAL Director Lori Emerson on the Library of Congress blog The Signal: Digital Preservation: “Media Archaeology and Digital Stewardship: An interview with Lori Emerson” (October 2012)

    MAL Director Lori Emerson presents on the philosophy of the lab (“The Archeological Media Lab as a Locavore Thinking Device“) at E-Poetry 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (May 2011)

    About the Lab

    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)

    the Creators Project features the MAL and its artist residency series in “Dig up Dead Tech at the Media Archaeology Lab” (July 2014)

    Alexis Madrigal, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, lists the MAL on OneBusiness in a list of “5 Intriguing Things” (January 2013)

    Alexis Madrigal, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, mentions the MAL on The Atlantic online in “The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art” (January 2013), reblogged on Boing Boing

    Brad Feld, the managing director of the Foundry Group and MAL donor, blogs about the MAL: “Hidden Boulder Gem: The Media Archaeology Lab” (November 2013)

    Nick Montfort blogs about the lab in a post titled “Media Archaeology Lab’s New Media” (July 2013)

    Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine publishes a write-up on the MAL, “Where old computers don’t go to die” (December 2012)

    Jussi Parikka blogs about the lab and its relation to Wolfgang Ernst’s Media Archaeological Fundus in Berlin (October 2012)

    the Library of Congress blog The Signal: Digital Preservation mentions the MAL along with MITH and the Salman Rushdie Digital Archive at Emory University in a post titled “‘It’s Dead, Jim’: Resurrecting an Obsolete File, Part 2” (December 2011)

    the Poetry Foundation mentions the MAL in relation to a paper Lori Emerson presented on the lab at E-Poetry Festival in May 2011 (Buffalo, NY): “Celebrating (and preserving) ten years of E-Poetry.” (April 2011)