My inspirations for this project

Media lobotomy first started from reading Sean Cubitt, Finite Media; this book leads me to question the following into days society.

The Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies.
How digital media effects environmental degradation.
Over-production and consumption of digital media affect us today.
How the above affected digital rubbish and electronic waste

In this book, Cubitt looks at how the resources of the earth are finite, and it’s not just the fact that we are running out of them but also the fact that for every digital resource made today, the required envy to matin them goes up.

From reading this book, I started to look at my use of technology and how I interact with it daily; I am a high user with a smartwatch and phone on me, and I think all people should think about it their relationship with technology.

Did you know that one search on google uses about as much energy as your body burns in 10 seconds, and around 10% of the worlds total electricity consumption is being used by the internet, according to a recent research report from Swedish KTH.

Linux Distros for cratives

Linux has come a long way from my early years of using it as an ICT manager in education. With Linux, once the geek’s operating system, it has now become a robust system for older spec computers. With such Distros as Ubuntu Studio, the choice has never been so good to the creative person that can not afford the price of the so-called industry-standard software costing hundreds of pounds a year.

I have read a lot about the disadvantages of a Linux based computer but find it hard to fault the systems I have used over the past few weeks. You will find many articles on the internet about the poor documentation on the systems, but this is not a problem with the true spirit of open source. Just a quick search in google finds the answer within a few clicks.

I enjoyed looking at the spins from Fedora with its design suite coming out on top for the user that has little knowledge of Linux

Ubuntu Studio is decently the best all-round creative suite and has excellent support but I found it almost had too many options and you are left wondering what program you should be using, but I would say it is always worth a look at .

The two above are the main two I tested. Still, you will find many others worth a go if your intros lie in a different area, from AVLinusx for music production to Apodio for video production. All I can say you need to try to decide for yourself.

For my project Media Lobotomy, I have decided due to the vast gap in specifications from the best computer to worst; I would base my system on LUbuntu building my custom ISO based on a creative student’s needs, not giving lots of choice of programs finding the best for each situation and making several different Distros for the graphic, video and audio users.

What can we do with the dead laptops

Today I started to look at what we can do with the old dead laptops and will show you what can be saved and what ends up in a landfill over the next few post. We all know you can keep the hard drives and turn them into external drives with not a lot of trouble. Did you know things like the screen and camera can be easily used for 2nd monitors and cameras turned into external web cameras documents cameras.

Media lobotomy Workshop coming soon

Media Lobotomy will be running a group of workshops over the next month looking at adressing the follow areas.

•The Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies. 

• How digital media effects environmental degradation. 

• Over-production and consumption of digital media affect us today. 

• Digital divide

The workshops will look at the following

Diy \ Media 

Open source software.

Our workshops offer the participants to become familiar with basic hardware and software design while at the same time gaining hands-on experience making. The workshops are open to participants of different backgrounds, and no programming or electronic skills are required. The idea is to start from scratch and create a complete project over a short time, including concept.

for more information at this time and to express interest please email

Why Open Source

For this project, open-source is the only way to go and it has many advantages overpaid and mainstream OS systems, it is both safer and cheaper made with the combined knowledge of brains all over the world. In some way, you can say it’s built on an open-source brain that can be accessed 24 hours a day connecting an unlimited number of minds and languages at the touch of a button.

One of the biggest advantages of Open source software is code that is designed to be publicly accessible—anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see fit.

The donation of technology can be said to be open source technology that allows its new end-user to access the wealth of information. The human brain is the biggest unlimited resources in the world today. So media lobotomy is will enable people to empower themselves and can be said in the way “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” or “Give a man the answer, and he’ll only have a temporary solution. Teach him the principles that led you to that answer, and he will be able to create his solutions in the future.”

Choice of OS

Now I have started to receive laptops and other devices; it’s time to think about the choice of OS.

My choice of OS has a few requirements to achieve my goals, and it needs to work on any or most machines and run the basic programs for the everyday user but also allow for creative people to have a platform, all of this must be done on a free platform ruling out the leading operating systems. The other problems with mainstream paid operating systems today are that they are spec hungry; what I mean by this is that with every new introduction of the systems, your computer needs more RAM, more hard drive and faster processes, something the donated laptops do not have.

Just recently I have acquired three perfectly good desktop pc’s with i7 processors 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive that is now no longer to the spec required to run on an industrial network but has plenty of life left, in them, this spec is the typical or better spec you see advertised for home use every day. With a computer to this spec, the student would efficiently complete any task for normal school or college work baring some primary task. The only problem with such a computer donated to media lobotomy does not come with an OS licence hence the hunt for an operating system.

So, over the next few days, I am going to be researching and test different Linux based OS to see what the best fit would be for this project and how I can customise it for a creative student. Once I have setup the first computer this week, I will complete the project with this operating system giving my feedback on life as an open source/ free software as a creative art user.

This week’s donated technology

I must start with a big thank everyone for their donations so far, and this week, I have had several laptops from different sources and operating systems.

This week, I will be looking into using a Linux os to breathe new life into all of these machines to donate the device to someone who needs it. In the last year, we have found ourselves in a situation where everybody does not data access. This is as vital as access to a device for some households. So, In addition to laptops, we also want to do everything we can to help connect people to data.

If you have something you’d like to donate – and that could be a laptop, computer, mobile phone or tablet, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Project that will help you to save the planet!

Do you have an old digital devices that you no longer use? Broken or just old operating systems. Then please contact me as I doing an exciting project as part of his master’s research.

what digital device do you have that you no longer use that would enable a student to learn? “

This is the central question to my current master’s research project.

Media Lobotomy is the reuse and reconstruction of electronics from dead (unusable) digital devices. More than 48 million tons of e-waste are produced every year, with only 20% of our e-waste is collected globally. Most of our e-waste ends up in landfill sites—both at home and in the developing world, releasing toxic metals, with toxins like lead, mercury, and cadmium being released into the soil and water.

The operating systems of phones, computers and other devices are deliberately improved regularly, making the consumer need to upgrade. Did you realise that you would need to use a mobile phone for ten years before the energy used to created was balanced out?

As part of my work, I have set up a digital media lobotomy, a kind of deconstruction and reconstruction that attempts to delay the process of deleting media devices, primarily to help students learn at home. I am taking what manufactures would class as obsolete computers and putting my version of Linux (a remote operating system) on with all the programmes a student would need to study. A way of reducing landfill whilst improving the chances of all students, particularly those from families who cannot afford the next new device. 

If you have any laptops or tablets you no longer need in the back of a cupboard and you would like to donate them to this project, the condition is not important as I can reconnect many parts of different devices to create a new, useable device.

what digital device do you have that you no longer use that would enable a student to learn? “


Welcome my investigations and research blog working towards my major project for a digital media MA studying at Goldsmiths. I’m Peter, a 49-year-old Film and Photography assistant in Croydon.

I am going to use this blog as a way of logging my work with the following starting points.

The Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies.
How digital media effects environmental degradation.
Over-production and consumption of digital media affect us today.
How the above affected digital rubbish and electronic waste

My investigation and approach will look at the theory’s and practitioners from such people as Sean Cubitt, Garnet Hertz, Jussi Parikka, Marshall McLuhan, to name a few..

The centre of media lobotomy is the reuse of electronics from dead media digital devices to produce a new media Art physical piece. My inspiration and approach, to this work, is the current situation we all find ourselves in and the digital divide that this has created.

A question I like to leave you all thinking about from my first post is,

what digital device do you have that you no longer use that would enable a student to learn?

When pondering this question, remember old laptops you no longer think are usable might install an operations system like Linux allow a student to home school for over a year.