KeepDelete: From digital to analog

By Marta Díaz. April 12, 2012

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Our mobile telephones save text messages like the chests of yesteryear locked secrets and moving letters. I remember when I opened one that belonged to my grandparents. To open one of those chests was like taking the lid off Pandora’s Box, entering stories of impossible loves and heartbroken confessions. First you had to clean the dust from the surface, blowing hard. Then you had to, carefully, place the key in the lock and make it turn, creaking, while all your nerves seized your stomach. The letters were bundled together and tied up with an aged bow while white fingers enjoyed, clumsy, searching through the painted envelopes for their next victims.

But, technology is something else. Our mobile phones will die, taking with them all our secrets, sometimes much to our regret. That is what the graphics designer, lecturer and researcher Andrea Wilkinson must have thought when she devised KeepDelete. It is an ambitious project that aims to turn those digital messages into something tangible before they fall into oblivion, old or lost; Wilkinson wants to turn them into physical artifacts (in its most literal meaning).

From the web site keepdelete.be she encourages us to submit our proposals on how to make art with those messages that want to be saved. The best will become a book and an exhibition which is being prepared also for this year. There is still time to take part (texts until the 16th April and typographic artifacts until the 4th June) so, go find your old mobile phone, search through your messages and help survive that one that is crying out to be turned into matter and form.

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