Hard Copy is a series of photographs of recordable media collections that will never be accessed again due to obsolescence. The photographs investigate the relationships we have with recordable media, and how the phenomenon of hoarding old recordable media relates to media storage in the digital age.
Our recordings are significant in terms of memory, preservation, and perpetuation of histories for the future, but we also encode our recordings with our identity. These recordings, i.e. obsolete VHS tapes and floppy disks, become extensions of our selves, appendages that we cannot cut off. Even if we can never watch or hear them again due to obsolescence, they store moments in our histories that signify who were are, or perhaps who we were at the moment that recording was made. Very often, we hang on to old media with the intention of upgrading the recordings to newer media formats, but more often than not, obsolete media lingers in the attic until the original owner passes away, leaving others to sort through the hoarded memories of someone else.
Examining our relationship with hard copies leads us to question our contemporary culture of digital, ephemeral, and networked recordings: What will happen to our digital identities as technologies––and lives––pass on?
Hard Copy was created with support of a Creative Capital grant (Emerging Fields, 2013)