Day-to-Day Data
Cleo Broda
Title: 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
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, clutter-free life.

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.

Cleo Broda
April 2005

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