This paper addresses the aesthetics of memory emerging on the horizon of digital culture, discussing the notions of ruin, conservation and archive, in relation to contemporary processes of “documentary overdose”, loss and planned obsolescence. I argue that the imminence of loss and the potential impossibility of restoration and retrieval have become the ‘default’, and not the exception, in the digital storage ecosystem. To learn how to deal with this permanent state of absence can be crucial for a new understanding of the basis of historical preservation.

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