Enigma Rebus
Prolegomena to an Archaeology of Algorithmic Artefacts
David Link

The following article contains preliminary thoughts towards the definition of a necessary novel discipline, the archaeology of algorithmic artefacts. It strives to provide a definition of these artefacts, particularly of algorithmic ones, to describe some general trends in their (ontogenetic and phylogenetic) development, and to work out a methodology for their resurrection, which proceeds theoretically and practically at the same time. In this endeavour, the little creature 'Odradek' invented by Kafka serves as an emblem for the enigmatic state of artefacts before they become and after they have been effective; as a demonstrational object for methods of their resurrection; and as an example for the transcription of technical schemata, by locating several inventions in which this particular set-up reappears.

Enigma Rebus. Prolegomena to an Archaeology of Algorithmic Artefacts. Interdisciplinary Science Review 36.1 (2011): 3-23.
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Enigma Rebus. Prolegomena to an Archaeology of Algorithmic Artefacts, in: Variantology 5. Neapolitan Affairs, eds. Siegfried Zielinski and Eckhard Fuerlus (Cologne: König, 2011), pp. 311-345.
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