Personal Soft Data
Archive System – Objects
Location: Installation at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art
Cleo has developed a system for painlessly getting rid of your cherished possessions
to free up space around the house. Recently she has disposed of: her van of
nearly ten years, her grandfather’s chair, old pieces of art work and
her broken sewing machine. Using this system she has been able to record the
disposal process photographically and with written notes and anecdotes, so that
the important memories of the objects remain with her. This ongoing observational
project will be displayed as large digital prints in the exhibition.
images from a personal archive
In a time when people are encouraged to own more things than
ever before, I am interested in the relationship we have with the objects
we possess. It is often cheaper to replace an object than to repair it and
the renewing of objects in our homes is often more to do with changing taste
than with the functioning potential of the object. Consequently, many objects
are not made to last. And yet, there is a boom in the ‘storage’
industry. Many people are paying more to store and preserve objects than the
objects are actually worth.
Heirlooms used to carry with them stories of the people who owned them and
of the homes they occupied. Because these cherished objects can be triggers
for memories, it is often difficult to dispose of them. They may retain this
‘memento’ function long after they cease to serve the purpose
for which they were designed.
The Personal Soft Data Archive System allows
people who are attached to objects for sentimental reasons to dispose of the
physical objects while preserving their ‘memento’ value. It functions
a bit like microfiche storage for newspapers in that it shrinks the space
required for storing the important information. The system stores a visual
record of the object but also records any associations the owner has with
it. The owner is then free to dispose of the actual object.
It is often the case that minimal living is facilitated
by generous, clever storage. This system allows owners to preserve the emotional
associations they had with the object while appearing to have a pared down,
The development of this system is entirely hypothetical
and has nothing at all to do with my life or my attachment to teacups or beautiful,
but broken, chairs.