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Random Access Memory

Logo https://stories.scrollytelling.io/random-access-memory

Instead of electronics, it uses grains of sand. They are (re)placed on a rotating disc by a pick and place mechanism combined with a microscope camera.

This memory experiences errors from misreadings, bouncing grains and other imponderabilities.

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Its only goal it is to write as many "ones" (grains) as possible, following a strict rule. A complex and repetitive pattern emerges on the disc.

R A M investigates the contrast of a “pure” mathematical process (algorithm) and its “impure” material implementation into the world.

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Computing with sand—Geomancy—or ilm al-raml (science of the sand) is an ancient Arabic divination technique based on sand grains, or other geological material, that were cast on a plane surface.

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Nowadays boolean algebra is inscribed into thin layers of purified silicon (also a geological material) in order to execute complex simulations like weather prediction.

Video and words by Ralf Baecker CC BY-NC 3.0
http://www.rlfbckr.org/work/random-access-memory/

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