Digital Remains: Exhibited at the MoMA New York


Context:

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What happens to your data when you die?
Three Digital Remains access keys were displayed at the ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2008.

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Paula Antonelli speaking about Digital Remains

These are the words that Paula Antonelli, the curator of the exhibition, used to describe Digital Remains:

“You are looking at three beautiful round artefacts. They are very nicely crafted, possibly by hand, and you’ll notice that they carry a name and two dates. One is the date of birth and the other is the date of death.

This is a beautiful and very poetic work by Michele Gauler, called Digital Remains. It’s based on the idea that, as more and more of our lives become digital, our loved-ones will want to keep not only our physical but also our digital effects after we’re gone.

Each disc contains someone’s digital remains: images, music and documents, compiled from the various hard drives, networks and web pages creating during the life time. When you move a disk close to a computer, it can connect to that computer via bluetooth and share the deceased’s digital remains. A programme inside the disc can even search for the media that are most appropriate for each viewer. For a friend it might show pictures of a party that that friend attended to with the deceased. But for relatives it might show a video of a family vacation.

It’s a response to the digitisation of our world. To the increasingly central role of electronic media not only in storing the minutia of our lives but also our ideas, inspirations, aspirations and memories.”

– Curator Paula Antonelli on the project ‘Digital Remains’

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Digtial Remains at the MoMA

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