Digital Slide Viewer is a digital photographic memorial that draws upon the rich performances and rituals involved in the use of older analog technologies as a means of lending digital photographic archives not only a physical presence, but also a sense of value, preciousness and longevity that will allow them to be handed down across generations and persisted over time in more meaningful ways.
The memorial box is a physical instantiation of your flickr photostream that comprises several ‘blank’ slides and a digital slide viewer, that is constructed upon the closing of an account. Although each slide appears blank, they are embedded with an RFID tag that corresponds to a photoset within the relevant flickr account, rather than individual photos, while the account holders username, the title of the photoset and number photo’s within that set are all etched onto the surface of the slide.
Upon placing a slide into the viewer, the internal RFID reader detects the tag and searches flickr. A slide-show of the corresponding photoset is then displayed on the viewers internal LCD display, which can be seen through the slides’ blank window.
This project is part of Excavating Digital Archives, a project conducted with the Socio Digital Systems group Microsoft Research Cambridge. It explores ways of excavating the increasingly vast digital archives that we are beginning to build throughout our lives. In particular, they are attempts to establish ways in which physical and digital technological artefacts might be made more emotionally and temporally enduring, and consequently how those archives might then be handed down to others over time.