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  • Sarah C Awad

Time Capsule I: The Objects

I found many parallels to thoughts I have been having, and things I am working on with myself through starting this Time Capsule project.

Choosing three objects was far more difficult than expected; it’s fascinating that you can be so surrounded by and utilize so many things- and yet the question of not just what matters, but why it matters, becomes very large.

Taking stock of my objects also further reinforced something I learned about myself this past year. There’s an interesting dichotomy between choosing an object- or making a decision or performing an action- because you love it, and choosing something because it is a good choice, absent of feeling.. I have been quite reflective post-milestone birthday, and through taking stock, I have found that I make good decisions-rational, evidence-supported, strategic- that I don’t have the heart in. In short, I make good decisions that tend to disregard my own feelings in the process.

This once again came to the forefront in my selection for this project. Even on this smaller scale, I tried to find more of a middle ground with my choices, and feel that my selections are not only intimate to me, but could be points of interest for future beholders of my time capsule.

My Planner

My aggressively used red planner is most likely the one object that will give you the most insight into who I am intrinsically. It is a detailed look at a year in my life. You’ll see lists galore, random drawings, and the ebbs and flows of stress through its pages. While I could never get into journaling, I do feel that this is the closest I will get to that kind of practice, and could be an interesting item to look back on many years in the future.

My Ring

I wear a black ring on my right middle finger. It is the only piece of jewelry I wear everyday. This was a piece I always wanted for largely unexplained reasons and I love it for a variety of reasons. On the superstitious and superficial sides, wearing it on my middle finger makes me feel a little punk, and I get a feeling of completeness with it on my finger. On the more conceptual and sentimental sides, it is representative of my journey in discovering my sexuality, and its materiality grounds me and is a reminder to practice mindfulness.

In keeping with my head cannon of future lifeforms discovering my time capsule, by adding this ring into preservation, I could possibly be providing the future with a sample of a now extinct material, which could be ground-breaking… And that sounds pretty cool.

My Hair

Hair is not only full of secrets, but full of stories! My hair tells a very intimate and specific story about my life. I am half Lebanese, and my hair has been not only my prime superficial connection to that, but really the only connection I have to that side of my ancestry, as my father- a first generation Lebanese American- was not given the gifts of language, recipes, or other cultural passing-down by his parents. My hair has been a hiding place, a way to control me, and a way to liberate myself from beauty expectations from my mother. I love my eyebrows! My hair makes me proud, unique, and confident, and it also makes me insecure, unsure, and concerned for my health. I could write a whole series of essays through the lens of my hair.

I also liked the idea of including biological material in a time capsule, as I built a narrative of someone other than me digging it up, millions of years into the future. The new earth inhabitants could use my hair for study, perform experiments, maybe clone me? It is my gift to them- wish I could see what they would do with it!

I chose to do 3D scans of my objects. A large part of my creative practice is in 3D, so I felt that personal connection to the medium, but also liked its connection to preservation.

I chose to keep the scans in their raw state because I wanted them to feel like a memory: they can be rough around the edges and formed from accurate and inaccurate intermingling of information. I also wanted to have parts of me in the scan, either holding or interacting with the objects to demonstrate their meaning to me and their usage, to further incorporate the task of documentation into the project. I rendered them using a Polyskin to add an uncanny warmth that also highlights the digital signature of the scans.

I am looking forward to developing this project further, and to deepen the valley between virtual and tactile in the process.

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