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Forthcoming in Communications + 1 Journal Vol. 7 (2) (Open Humanities Press): The Battery is the Message: Media Archaeology as an Energy Art Practice


When media start to explode in your hands, it deserves a description. When it causes airplane evacuations, general panic and hysteria, it warrants an examination. When it quietly dies in your pocket before the end of an eight hour work day just like the other two billion smartphones, it deserves an explanation. It is reasonable to believe that a ‘Thermal Runaway’ event is far more spectacular than a quiet smartphone death. Leakages take place, fire and toxic chemicals are involved, possibly leading to personal bodily injury. It can be traumatic. Thermal Runaway is today one of the prime modes of battery failure. Chemical reactions within raise its internal temperature, and if not dissipated, the temperature keeps rising that will further accelerate the reactions causing even more heat to be produced, eventually resulting in an explosion. Especially a Lithum-ion cell above a certain temperature, its internal chemical reactions out of control, will explode.



NOTE: The thoughts in the following article came about during the Community Power Bank(CPB) workshops at Pixelache Helsinki in 2015–16.The project recycled Lithium 18650 batteries with community participation and re- purposed them to build power banks for handheld media devices. The workshops were conducted at the Museum of Photography and at the OSCE (Open Source Circular Economy) Days in Helsinki, Finland. All acknowledgements are due to the participants and colleagues in this project. For more information see:

Hackathon Projects 2015-16

HACKING PERISCOPE (2016): Live Broadcasting of Cultural Heritage Videos

How to inject a freshness into old cultural heritage videos? How to use live video streaming for cultural heritage? What if we could Live Broadcast old cultural heritage videos into social networks? What kind of viewers we would get? Will the broadcasts attract replays, shares, likes and follows? How would this assist open cultural heritage?

In this experiment, we use Periscope, a location-based live video streaming app. We broadcast videos from the archives of the Swedish Literature Society (SLS) Finland:

The project was part of the #HACK4FI 2016 event in Helsinki, February 2016.


KERPLINK (2015): A Dating & Social Discovery Application for Cultural Heritagekerplink_final

The application was inspired by Tinder, a location based dating and social discovery application. The app allows users to log in with Facebook, like/dislike open cultural heritage images from the Europeana database, the Cooper Hewitt open source collection and the Flickr Commons. Users get matched with fellow users based on similarities in image liking and browsing history. They could then engage in chats with the matched user and maybe even meet up.

The project was part of the #HACK4FI 2015 event in Helsinki, February 2015.