Floppy Totaal is a Rotterdam based research project that investigates the reuse and repurposing of 'outdated' technology as a cultural phenomenon. By examining the contemporary usage of the iconic floppy disk, we assess the way past technology is integrated into our culture today and its future prospectives.
We aim to share insights in the social dimensions around residual media by showcasing recent literature, performances, installations and more, through events, publications, workshops and exhibitions. Our main goal is to inject the debate surrounding obsolescent technology with new enthusiasm and stimulate a critical approach to this topic.
Floppy Totaal started out in 2014 as a recurring festival in Rotterdam, hosted by WORM, the insitute of avant-garde recreation. During the events a variety of international artists, musicians, hackers, designers and researchers were invited to showcase a selection of contemporary floppy related projects. After three editions of the festival, we received backing from the Creative Industies Fund NL to develop Floppy Totaal's research beyond its event-based format in 2019.
We started investigating the possibility of a publication that exhibits the many ways in which floppy disks are still being used and re-purposed today. This laid the groundwork for our first publication: “Floppy Disk Fever”. In 2020 we received another contribution from Creative Industries Fund NL to continue the work on this project. The result will be released in book-form through Onomatopee in 2022. Coinciding with its release there will be another two-day Floppy Totaal event, presented at v2 in Rotterdam.
Within the context of profit-driven planned obsolescence, it is important to inquire after the reuse and repurposing of ‘obsolete’ technologies. With electronic waste piles growing larger and more conspicuous every year, how do artists and consumers engage with older media? The ideology behind redundancy is questioned through the contemporary usage and creative repurposing of outdated technology. This method goes beyond mere nostalgia, and is shaped by a number of artists and theorists that (re)introduce older technology in our current times, often combining media 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 usage of past technology as a widespread cultural phenomenon. We have chosen to highlight the floppy diskette, because it is one of the more iconic examples of a medium that is considered obsolete. Even though the 3,5 inch floppy diskette has slowly moved towards 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, musicians, programmers, painters, hackers, crafters, 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 instead of focusing on its limitations.