A series of four lockets, questioning the nature of digital photography, specifically loss of the preciousness of photographs due to the reproducability of the digital. This work was a collaboration with digital jeweller Jayne Wallace and silversmith Derek Anderson.
Remember, (above, top left), a refinement of the locket produced in the Personhood in Dementia project, exploring the notions of self identity in dementia. Jayne worked over several years in a co-creative manner with Gillian who has Dementia and her husband John. This first locket, showing a single picture each time it is opened, prompted a questioning of the assumptions with digital lockets and photography leading to the following lockets.
Forget, (above, bottom right), introduced the notion of a forgetful locket, over time the image is lost. If stored properly, digital photographs can last forever, passed from drive to drive, into the cloud and between web services without change. However stored on a single device without backup or transmitted over a poor network, segments of the data will be lost or corrupted. Similarly the dyes of traditional photographic negatives and prints degrade over time, without careful storage this aging is exacerbated by heat, light and moisture. Even images in our memories age over time, the inconsequetial details first and the evocative aspects held longest.
Forget takes aspects of each of these types of aging. When opened and exposed to the elements the image in the locket degrades, encouraging fleeting glances at the image inside. When open bitrot like flippings of random bits in the image result a tendancy towards corrupt randomness, however these flippings are weighted to keep “memorable” areas such as faces for longer.
Dageurre, (above, bottom left), adds a small camera to explore another aspect. The only cost of a digital photograph is its storage space, a cheap cheap commodity. Traditionally photographs had cost, in film and development, resulting in careful selection of shot. Dageurre explores this by only allowing a single shot. Removing the lens cap exposes the digital camera and replaces the existing image show on the locket. This prompts a different approach to photography, a digital snap becomes fragile, precious and unique.
Orpheus, (above, top right), is again accompanied by a small camera. Orpheus only allows two viewing of an image, the first upon capture then once closed the second viewing wipes the image from memory. This prompts the locket to not be used as a picture frame carrying an image but instead to carry the memory of that image. This derived from the observation that lockets are often not about the act of looking at the image held but rather carrying it close to us.
Open Hardware & Software writeup
Unpicking the Digital
Jayne Wallace, Patrick Olivier
Essay published in Momentum exhibition publication
Craft in the Bay, Makers Guild in Wales
CraftCube:Research, Sage Gateshead, 2013
Momentum, University of Hertfordshire, October 2012 – February 2013
Anchor Points, Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland 2012
Momentum, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff 2011 CraftCube:Research, DMY International Design Festival Berlin June 2010
CraftCube:Research, Assemble, Crafts Council Conference, London June 2010
CraftCube:Research, Alzheimer’s Awareness Day, Worksop Library, Nottinghamshire, September 2010