SEPTEMBER 2020 - INSTALLATION
An interactive audio visual installation inspired by the issues surrounding digital obsolescence and the impermanence of information in our increasingly virtual society...
Our digital lives are ever present, yet also completely intangible, constantly changing and developing as we continually add to their virtual mass. Whether this is photos taken on our smart phones, documents created for work or music we've downloaded, our digital footprint is huge and sometimes hard to manage. Furthermore, keeping up-to-date with changes in technology, file formats, storage mediums and even simple items such as adapter cables can be a huge undertaking.
Whilst digital information can be convenient, it is far more fragile than we think and it’s stability over time is at risk by a number of factors ranging from computer crashes to hardware malfunctions and of course, human error. More often than not, rapid digital obsolescence renders our files unreadable before we have put measures in place to future proof our information. On top of this, hardware manufacturers often use a system of planned obsolescence so we continue to upgrade to the latest models of computers and smart phones, often with little regard to the backwards compatibility of these new products and systems.
In ‘Degradation’ you are invited to take control of a digital form in 3D virtual space, an immaterial void that only ever exists on a screen. Your interactions with this form will ultimately serve to either prolong it’s life or advance it‘s destruction, or perhaps you’ll try to maintain it’s original format and take on the responsibility of preserving this data over time.
Eventually, most of our digital information will degrade, just as we struggle to preserve physical artefacts from ancient worlds and texts from civilisations long gone, researchers are now facing the task of archiving our digital world. Soon, this website and even the installation itself will become unreadable, designed for legacy computer systems which are no longer functional or practical to maintain, it’s formatting unrecognisable, broken or even completely lost. It’s own short life-span further emphasising the concept of the piece.