SENTIENT live edge dining table

Memory Stücks by Beta Tank

DMY Berlin 09: Memory Stücks is a project by Berlin- and London-based design studio Beta Tank that was exhibited at the DMY Allstars exhibition in Berlin earlier this month.

Memory Stücks is a collection of objects including a chair, iron, table and typewriter that have been implanted with USB sticks.

These USB’s contain words, images, film and animation associated with the object and what has happened to it in the past.

The information below is from Beta Tank:

Memory Stücks
Physical and digital collide

Memory Stücks are a limited edition of memory pieces which bond the tangible physical with the ephemeral digital. Used everyday things like tables, shirts, rocks and a chair have been equipped with USB sticks which carry their digital memories in words, images, film and animation. The objects are given a voice and imagery from the USB sticks.

Our thinking on Memory Stücks comes from an ongoing interest in the tangible world and how it relates to the digital, ephemeral, imaginative. Memory Stücks are the poetic take on intelligent objects; objects which carry their own information with them.

We once spoke to Doron Swade, former Senior Curator of Computing at the Science Museum in London about the ‘aura of the original’. Why we are obsessed with the original object and invest large amounts of money in proving and preserving the original. The original carries an invisible aura, which we nurture in a romantic and nostalgic way and which, in a monetary way, turns an object into a rare commodity. A wonderful fascination lies in the old and original because it is tangible proof of the faded past which we use to define us as human beings.

A more futuristic take on this subject is Bruce Sterling’s world of Spimes. In 2004, he gave his speech When Blobjects Rule the Earth at Siggraph in Los Angeles, saying “Having conquered the world made of bits, you need to reform the world made of atoms. Not the simulated image on the screen, but corporeal, physical reality. Not meshes and splines, but big hefty skull-crackingly solid things that you can pick up and throw. That’s the world that needs conquering. Because that world can’t manage on its own. It is not sustainable, it has no future, and it needs one. It is going to get one from you.” and “The next stage is an object that does not exist yet. It needs a noun, so that we can think about it. We can call it a “Spime, […] The most important thing to know about Spimes is that they are precisely located in space and time. They have histories. They are recorded, tracked, inventoried, and always associated with a story. Spimes have identities, they are protagonists of a documented process. They are searchable, like Google. You can think of Spimes as being auto-Googling objects.”

The aura of the original is invisible – if not entirely imagined (attempts of making it tangible obviously are made in form of certificates, seals, documentation, etc). The identities of Spimes will be also invisible to the eye, embedded in the material of the objects on nano-levels, translated and read into the digital world.

Memory Stücks will be the dinosaurs of the species of Spimes, from a time where we could still get away with drilling into objects with brute force and implanting clunky memory sticks and thus letting everyone see with their naked eyes that there are two worlds colliding.


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