Lesson: Breaking It Apart

Featured Image: “iFixit Cracks Open the iPhone 5” by Andrew Cunningham

Attendance Activity (10 minutes)

What’s one good thing that happened to you since we had class last?

Discuss Project 3 (10 Minutes)

Debrief MASC Visit and Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Check out the pictures I posted on Facebook regarding our visit.
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned during the visit?
  • Why did you pick the technology you picked?

In an interview with Lori Emerson, Wolfgang Ernst discusses the need for exhibiting older technologies in the following way:

All this needed to be grounded in the material presence of archaeological media technology – be it archaic in the sense of “dead media,” be it illustrative in terms of the key elements of media technology, be it essential in terms of principles (like the enlarged version of a flipflop circuit to store one “bit”), be it experimental in terms of techno-epistemological questions. Following my definition that such items need to be displayed in action to reveal their media essentiality (otherwise a medium like a TV set is nothing but a piece of furniture), it required an assembly of past media objects which teachers and students are allowed to operate with and to touch upon – a limit for curators and visitors in most museums of technology.

What do you suppose Ernst means by TV being a technology vs. simply a piece of furniture? Why is it so hard to directly experience past technologies?

iPhone Teardown (7 minutes)

Think, Pair, Share (20 minutes)

  • Groups of 4
  • Pick a component of the iPhone on the Teardown that most interests you. Here is the component teardown list.  Look specifically for components in Steps 1, 14, 15, and 22. 
  • Find information about the component online:
    • What are the parts of this component?
    • How does it function? (for instance, what’s a megapixel? how are they generated with electricity?)
    • Where is the component manufactured? What part of the world? How much do workers making the component earn? You can find some of this information in the New York Times video accompanying the article, “The iPhone Economy”

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