Unpacking the hard drive

While still in Helsinki, we begin our work by unpacking the hard drive of Kurenniemi’s materials as prepared by Perttu Rastas of the Finnish National Gallery.

While it’s contents are particular to Kurenniemi, the physical form and organisation mirror a problem increasingly familiar to any personal digital archive; with snapshots of one device poured onto the next device with more storage space, the process repeated over time to form a tangle of nested digital histories, including duplications, empty folders, and a mix of unique self-made documents and backups of software programs and downloads.

In addition to the digital files, the archive includes digitized materials from various analog media (C-60 cassette tapes, Hi8 and DV tapes). Copying the files proved to be non trivial as differences in hard drive formats caused some strange behaviours when copying. Perttu told us that the drive, edged in elastic orange plastic, was advertised to be able to survive drops of 2 meters, a claim which we did not test.