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The Material of the Digital: Constructing a Computing Gallery at the Science Museum

24 Apr 2008

How should museums display and interpret our computing history and culture? A computing exhibition raises a number of issues:

  • More than any other technology, computers impact on all our lives, though few of us really understand how they actually work

  • Museums have traditionally dealt with material culture, but increasingly computers are about ephemeral applications, software and data

  • Computers are the ultimate technical machine, but it’s their ‘congealed social relations’ that really brings them to life

In this talk, Tilly Blyth unpacks some of issues surrounding the creation of a new computing gallery at the Science Museum, presenting some of the approaches and possible forms of interpretation.