Monday 16 November 2009

The EXbox - a place of rest for that special someone!

The image below shows a snapshot of a persons life. This person is a friend of mine. This friend, like most people, has been through a break-up. The couple in question no longer see or talk to each other.

Fig1: Placing the disk into a safe, out of sight, out of mind

They are both trying to move on but the digital world persists. Hidden among the countless documents, movies, music and other digital data are memory triggers. On this particular day it was too much, so this friend called and presented me with her problem:

"Whenever I look on my computer I can't help but stumble upon pictures of my ex, I don't want to get rid of them but I just can't look at them anymore."

Which immediately led me to see a simple solution. I told her to delete all the images of her ex from her computer and put them instead on a disk and put the disk somewhere safe and out of sight.

Through this simple example I have begun to see the impact of having a chaotic but perfect digital memory. It has made me see the data within my computer as complex 'bits' of information which inevitably link me to the memories, events and documents of my life.

This is a simple example, as it is something that most people can relate to (losing a relationship). However the example becomes much more complex when one considers how to deal with the information of someone who has died. When losing a loved one you may not want to 'put them away in a box.' I have begun to think about potential, physical and digital, resting places which would allow you the space to grieve but also the opportunity to (in time) celebrate a loved ones information (memories).

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