In the beginning of this project, I examined two relevant case studies to gain some insight into 1) what are the types of objects that people generally find memorable - are they unique or are they a mass produced object that has gained a special memory 2) how do the people react when their damaged and destroyed belongings are restored - is there happiness in getting the object back? or does it not feel like the same object anymore?
The Museum of Broken Relationships
In order to help answer the first question, I referenced The Museum of Broken Relationships, a traveling exhibit where people could donate items that are tokens of remembrance for a broken relationship, whether that because of a normal break up, a death, etc. The donated items were, as expected, a mix of very personal and unique items (such as a ceramic heart) and mass produced items that took on a special memory (such as a cheap dollar store frisbee). The fact that both of these types of items were donated to the museum poses an interesting challenge to my project, as for a very customized items I will probably not be able to recreate all the uniqueness of that item while mass produced items might not be personal enough to take on the weight of the original memory.
Hurricane Harvey Photo Restoration
The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey has launched a similar effort as this project: volunteers partnered with Adobe to help families restore their water damaged photographs. Volunteers would go to afflicted houses and collect severely water damaged photographs, scan the photographs, use Adobe Illustrator to digitally fix them, and then print out and frame the new printed photographs. Although this project may display biased results (because Adobe used it for marketing), I do believe that many of the families did feel like their photograph was given back to them despite the physicality of the photograph being different. I think this stems from the concept that photographs are unique because of their content and image, not the actual paper upon which they are printed. Thus even though the paper changed, since the content was the same in this process, the families still felt like their photograph was restored to them. However, I'm not sure if this same emotional transfer will work for objects, especially those that are mass manufactured, as there is no necessarily unique content preserved in the physicality of the object.
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