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W4_A0084292B_ Essay Preservation (Library And Archival Science) Immortality

 
Cai hui bin
A0084292 B
The practice of death memorialization can be traced back to 35, 000 B.C.
1
 
Regardless of nations, religions or cultures, remembering our loved ones after
their death has always been part of the ritual. Yet, across time, the way this ritual
is carried out evolves in accordance to available technology.
Designer psychologist Michele Gauler seeks to create a physical artifact that
stores digital data of the deceased. In his work titled "Digital Remains"
2
, Gauler
proposes for the digital information of an (deceased) individual to be stored in a
personalized data-storage artifact (also known as the access key) that has a
bluetooth function. Whenever the bluetooth radar is connected to the living user's
digital device (smartphone or laptop), the living user gains access to digital data
stored in the physical artifact. The physical artifact then acts as an object in
remembrance of the deceased.
Beyond its function as an object of remembrance, however, this piece of artwork
may come across further to encourage communication between the user and the
object, just like how Paola Antonelli propose in her curatorial statement
3
 for the
Talk To Me exhibition 2011. She establishes that things talk to us, and that there
exist relationships between people and things. "
Things may communicate with
people, but designers write the initial script that lets us develop and improvise
the dialogue".
 This is exactly illustrated by Ga
uler's work, whereby the script
refers to the physical artifact designed by the artist, and the user creates the
dialogue when the relationship factor comes to play. Upon the death of an
ind
ividual, he leaves behind his copy of “Digital Remains” for his loved ones.
Over time as his loved ones interact with this physical artifact, the artifact
becomes meaningful as they develop a relationship with it just like how they did
with the physical body of the deceased prior to his death. In this way, there is
transference of relationship from one with the deceased to one with the artifact.
Antonelli brought up a critical perspective whereby in the technologically inspired
era when so many mediums and channels are available, the trick to an effective
and elegant communication is choosing the right one.
Gauler’s work attempts to
incorporate the bluetooth technology with the death memorial process. Using
this technology, the user is able to transcend time and space boundaries to
1
 Veale, Kylie. "FCJ-014 Online Memorialisation: The Web As A Collective Memorial Landscape For Remembering
The Dead."
The Fibreculture Journal 
 3 (2004): 7.
2
 Gauler, Michele.
MoMA|Talk To Me.
 2011.
http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/talktome/objects/140018/ (accessed September 12,
2012).
3
 Antonelli, Paola.
MoMA|Talk To Me.
 2011.
http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/talktome/essay/ (accessed September 12, 2012).