Ideation and Prototyping: Time Capsule Part I

I was very excited to get started on my time capsule. While it seemed daunting to choose only three or five items, I loved the idea of curating a box for the future. I looked into Andy Warhol’s time capsules and was inspired by breath of items he included. It was a deep look into the mind and process of one of America’s greatest artists.

A theme I have been exploring during my work is the continuity of old and new. I’m fascinated by analog technologies and how they were driven out by digital competitors. I love to see the artifacts of past technologies either ingrained in newer society or fading away and ask why.

My family came to America in 1900 and lived in Newark, New Jersey for quite some time. During this era Newark was basically a little New York, immigrants either chose New York, Newark, or Pittsburg at the time. It had a bustling downtown and city center. I can still see the sparkle in my aunt’s and uncle’s eyes when they talk about the way Newark used to be. Today, Newark has been struggling to revitalize for the latter half of the century. Seeing old photos of Newark always fascinates me. I’ve read census documents, marriage records, and discovered old photos. It’s incredible to try and piece together the past. Today we have tools like google maps where I can revisit old addresses I find to see what the buildings of the past look like now. I know likely many things will be lost in translation for those who don’t have a sentimental attachment to the area. I think a time capsule is a unique opportunity to make a commentary on the past, the things that were important to you in your daily life, and the things you want to pass on. Upon this I feel a responsibility as well to honor the past.

Living in 2020 has been a pretty crazy experience to say the least. Much of our news and content we absorb online, which is another reason I love the idea of using physical items to express our condition.

9/11 Memorial rock

My first item is a rock that I bought from the 9/11 memorial. It states “NO DAY SHALL ERASE YOU FROM THE MEMORY OF TIME.” (Virgil) I really love this rock because it’s in reference to the installation at the 9/11 memorial. I was in NJ at the time while my dad was working in Manhattan. Everyone who was here during that time always remembers that day. It is a day that’s magnitude could not be overstated and is a symbol of rebuilding but honoring the victims. This was a moment New York had to come together and rebuild itself and will always leave its mark on us and our world.

pentax 110 auto camera & Minolta 16 Film

The Pentax 110 auto is my favorite little camera ever made. As I’ve said I’m someone who lives with the idea of the past closer to the forefront of my mind. I think that this camera says a lot of the kind of person I am and could be very interesting for someone to look back in the future. While we’ve had technological advances into digital photography, there is still a large group of people keeping film alive. Maybe in 50 years film will be completely obsolete (I truly hope not). I believe the underlying beauty of a camera like this is there is no getting away from the true art of photography and the photographic process. In digital cameras, abilities to do everything automatically, even sending data directly to a computer over wifi makes them extremely convenient. Sometimes, with so much convenience one loses out on that process. I believe there is a time and a place for both, but I absolutely love to hold onto this process for as long as I can. Also, being a 110 camera means it’s actually an outdated film in 2020. I hold on to this because I believe there is still a lot of inherent value in the smaller format. While attempting to differentiate myself as a photographer I think we have to look backwards as well.

The Minolta 16 film is another item that goes along with the Pentax 110 Auto. It is the same smaller format (110/16mm) and it was custom cut from a gentleman on Ebay. He even made his own packaging. I found this fascinating that someone would take the time to try and keep this old film alive. I surely treasure that there are people out there doing so.

Face mask with face scanned part

I recently used an application called Bellus3D to scan my face using photos, true depth data from the iPhone, and their wrapping algorithm. This resulted in a pretty accurate 3D model of my face. I chose a mask because obviously it’s very important in our present day Covid world. I chose to include it with the face scanned part to highlight a movement of people using modern technologies to help. I saw an extreme push from people all over the world flock to the maker community to find ways to help. This included sewing masks, people making 3d printed masks with air conditioning filters etc. This was extremely heartwarming and inspiring and it’s definitely something I want to be remembered in the time capsule. When we saw our doctors and nurses suffer from a PPE shortage, many jumped in to help in any way they could using their skills and what was available. I believe as 3D printing technologies get better and the consumer is able to print more homemade parts we will see this self sufficient part of society grow.

Proven skincare pamphlet and bottle

I think the products of 2020 in America are very specific and I wanted to find something that I thought embodied what that means. I chose Proven Skincare because I recently saw them on Shark Tank, another phenomenon that I think will be interesting to look back on. They came out with the idea of using an algorithm to create a perfect skincare product based on a number of key factors. I feel this represents capitalism in America, but also the idea that we trust machines/algorithms more these days to create personalized items. Data privacy and tracking are huge concerns these days, and carry both good and bad outcomes. We have created artificial intelligence to create profiles of our interests. I wonder how this will continue in the future, and I think this product is a really telling example of where capitalism and technology in America are right now.

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