<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> SAGE project

"semi automatic ground environment"

"project Charles" was started at MIT to develop a demo, they developed their Whirlwind computer, a real-time system, furhter.
"project Charles" was also the starting point for the Lincoln Labs, whre the SAGE project was continued from 1954 on. IBM cooperated with MIT on this project, which made it the dominat company in computer industry.
The outcome of SAGE was AN/FSQ-7, the largest computer ever built. It used more than 50.000 tubes and because of the tubes' unreliability, a SAGE system always consisted of two computers for backup - a dual processor so to say.

impact of SAGE for further computer developments; online systems, interactive computing, rel-time computing, data communications with modems.

"The Whirlwind project was very expensive and made up the bulk of the Office of Naval Research budget. As a result, it became the target of congressional budget cutters, who threatened to reduce the allocation from $1.15M to $250K in 1951. Through intense lobbying by MIT, the Whirlwind computer was ultimately adopted by the U.S. Air Force for use in its new SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) air defense system, which became operational in 1958 with more advanced display capabilities."

an official video:

video showing how SAGE was used:

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.