We live in a tech-saturated world where digital devices proliferate. These electronics have changed the way we communicate with people, things, and data. With just a few keystrokes or swipes, we can obtain infinite information quickly and more efficiently. Nevertheless, we still depend on an analog world. As human beings, we use our physical senses to collect and consume information and process the signals to the brain to understand. We use our eyes to watch, ears to listen, nose to smell, tongue to taste, and hands to touch; this is how we learn, remember, and engage our minds more deeply.
Reminiscing about parts of my days that simply made me happy as a child - talking on the land-line phone for hours, looking at new snapshots and placing them photo albums which I never tired of perusing, and endlessly searching for new places on a rotating earth globe - I also have special connections to physically interacting with objects. We associate our memories with objects because perhaps the sense of touch is the most powerful and intimate among all. My nostalgia stems from the state of being connected physically and mentally, to others and to my imagination. it is not merely for the thing but the experience that it provided. When I used an old-fashioned, tethered handset to talk on the phone, my attention was not divided. I set down in one place and actively listened and spoke.
My thesis project, Objects in Memories, Memories in Objects, is an interactive installation, consisting of three different artifacts from my 1990s childhood. They act as portals to my personal memories. The mechanics of the objects use wires and computational components to create a tangible interface. They will interactively work as inputs and triggers to browse through my memories, formatted digitally as images.
My thesis situates us in the in-between, neither fully accepting the current and the future state of technology nor completely abandoning the old and obsolete. These objects themselves have substance and weight as well as look and feel. The aesthetic of heft of them illustrate my appreciation for materiality and physical things. And the concept of complicating one simple digital interaction into multiple step-by-step interactions is to portray how minimized our digital interaction is through a flat screen. My piece considers how objects manipulated in 3 dimensions with our hands can tether us to the simple pleasure of being captured in the moment.