Floppy Totaal is a Rotterdam based research project that investigates the reuse and re-purposing of 'outdated' technology as a cultural phenomenon. By examining the contemporary usage of the iconic floppy diskette as a case study, we can assess the way past technology is integrated into our culture today, as well as its future potential. We aim to become a central knowledge hub in our field of interest by means of live events and an active online environment that collects and showcases relevant lectures, workshops, games, performances and installations. The goal of our project is to inject the debate surrounding obsolescent media with new enthusiasm and stimulate a critical approach to our topic with the help of extensive research.
Floppy Totaal started out in 2014 as a festival entirely devoted to contemporary floppy disk culture and art. During these events we welcomed contributors from all over the world to present recent lectures, workshops, performances and installations that made use of the iconic floppy disk. The first event was followed up by two more editions: one in 2015 and one in 2017.
In the spring of 2019 we received a start subsidy from Stimuleringsfunds under their Digital Culture sub-schema (https://m.stimuleringsfonds.nl/nl/toekenningen/floppy_totaal/5179/). This provided us with an opportunity to expand Floppy Totaal's research into a more tangible and approachable format that extends beyond the previous one-day events. Instead of one singular festival we will focus on multiple smaller events organised at various locations and the production and gathering of information, which we will regularly publish on our website in order to extend the impact of our research.
During the project we will actively engage with contemporary artists, theorists, archives and professionals that work with past technology to discuss the potential of their methodologies. Through these interactions we hope to expand on our research and figure out the best way to present their idiosyncratic views. We aim to create a functional online environment that faithfully represents the vibrant floppy disk community and its shared body of knowledge. This should provide an overview of the large number of positions occupied by researchers and artists working in the field of outdated technology today.
Regular updates will be provided through our news feed, so stay tuned!
Within the context of profit-driven planned obsolescence in the field of consumer electronics, it is important to enquire after the reuse and repurposing of "outdated" technologies. With e-dump piles growing larger and more conspicuous every year, how do artists and consumers engage with old media? Some challenge redundancy through the contemporary usage and creative repurposing of old technology. This method goes beyond mere nostalgia, and is shaped by a vibrant community that combines products and machinery from the past with brand new ones. The result is a hybrid cultural expression that reveals the necessity to question the way in which technological development gets framed both by media-centered research and popular culture.
Floppy Totaal aims to study the contemporary repurposing of past technology as a widespread cultural phenomenom. We have chosen to highlight the floppy diskette, which is one of the most typical examples of a redundant storage medium. Even though the 3,5 inch floppy diskette has slowly moved towards inevitable redundancy around the turn of the century, mostly due to alternatives provided by the market, there are still many artists and researchers working with the medium and finding new uses for it today. Film-makers, composers, programmers, writers and archivists; All of these approach the floppy disk as a medium with specific qualities, utilizing its 1,44MB storage space for its possibilities and not focusing on its limitations. We believe that examining these diverse approaches to older technology can provides us with alternative answers to contemporary questions and will help us assess our present-day situation. After all; past technology is very much a thing of the present!
Floppy Totaal is supported by: