Through the process of ideating and creating the Stone, I've spent a lot of time talking to people about the tools they use to help them remember and their attitude to this idea of curating the past and deleting memories. What I've found is that most people have a knee jerk "No, of course I would never delete my memories!" response. When pressed a little bit, they admit they've had these urges to excise potentially triggering memories and physical mementos after traumatic personal events, such as breakups or painful personal failures. Removed from the immediacy of pain, they are able to reflect and appreciate they still have these memories, however.
I used my own memories for this project, walking back through hundreds of short videos I've taken over the past 4 years. The memories I included in the object are indeed some of my favorite and most personally impactful in terms of their reflection on my personal growth. However, I wanted to challenge myself, so I included some memories that I struggle with. Any outside viewer would see a happy girl and a fun experience but, having lived these experiences, I know how they were tinged with complicated, hidden emotions and background narrative. I watch them still, using them more as a probe of the past than a reminiscence tool in these instances, but they also make me a bit sad to rewatch. Will I want to keep this sadness, even though it is important to me that I remember? Or will one day I grow tired and cut the cord, ready to move on from that particular pain?
Ultimately, I am happy with this piece. I would have liked to be able to build out the technology behind sending memories directly into the device, but unfortunately lack the requisite skills. What this piece accomplishes very well is actually starting conversations around memory and how we hold onto, and consciously curate, our memories as we grow and mature.
Is this a good/useful/informative piece of content to include in the project? Have your say!
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