Early Digital Tech, Artifacts from The Age of Acceleration, since 2020
Over the last decades, numerous digital technologies have entered and disap- peared from our everyday lives. Devices have become increasingly smaller and faster. They have also moved ever closer to us, both physically and emotionally.
In the series Early Digital Tech, Artifacts from the Age of Acceleration, I gathered digital entertainment electronics, storage, and transmission media from the last five decades. To realize the work, I decided on a technique that is extremely slow in terms of production, but is very durable: embroidery. For thousands of years, this cultural technique has been used to store and transmit information. All over the world, embroidered patterns form part of ceremonial dresses and cults. What “cult” are we engaging in today with our digital devices?
Similar to a digital photograph, I built up the images of calculators, cell phones, Tamagotchis, and digital watches in a cell-by-cell fashion from individual nodes. Technical devices, usually mass-produced and made of smooth plastic or cold metal, are given a soft, endearing feel.
In the background of the embroideries are circuit diagrams of electronic micro-components found inside digital devices. They refer to the rules according to which electrical impulses are transmitted or not, in the form of 0s or 1s.
If properly preserved, the cotton fibers of my embroideries can last several centuries. Will someone in the distant future still be able to recognize these relics of our digital culture and remember what rituals and practices they belonged to?