Past and Present Collide with 'Dear Diary 1.0'
Diaries. Journals. Memoirs. For some they're travelogs, scrapbooks, or more recently in our digital playground, blogs. Whatever you call them, most of us at some point have had the strong urge to document those precious moments in our lives we want to keep alive and fresh, despite the inevitable passage of time. Sometimes, as in the case of the proverbial adolescent schoolgirl's diary, those innermost thoughts are so charged that they need to be kept under lock and key, hidden in some very special, very secret place, to be unveiled only for the most deserving of eyes or in moments of emotional release.
Recent Utrecht School of the Arts graduate Marlies Romberg recognizes that the way we document and share our lives has changed dramatically from the days of quill and parchment, and in a fusion of old and new has created 'Dear DIary 1.0', a playful and thought-provoking statement that merges traditional staples of the past with our high-speed digital era.
Laser cut into the top of a traditional writing desk is a keyboard, along with a wood-framed monitor and an embedded computer to match.
Says the artist:
"Personally, I am fascinated by how the world is changing into a digital world. To me it seems that the digital world is personal but not private at all. For example, when I Google to find information about a friend, I will most likely find information about his life, his pets, his company and maybe a review on a digital camera that he has recently written. Notice that the digital verb 'Googling' has recently got the status of a real verb in the Netherlands. Just another example how the two worlds become one."
Indeed, who hasn't googled themselves? As the public and private spheres merge into a password-protected, social network-befriended digital realm, privacy becomes more and more of an issue. To further illustrate this point, Romberg has crafted a wax-sealed 'Top Secret' signet USB drive that artfully captures the romance of the days of yore with the tools of today.