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08 JANUARY 2004

Their Things Spoken: a catalogue of Their belongings

"Their Things Spoken by Agnes Hegedüs refers to the gulf between the conservation and valuation of officially recognized cultural representations and the information content of bearers of personal significance originating in apparently unimportant, unknown biographies. The artist distributed among visitors to the ZKM a leaflet asking, 'Why not put your favorite object in a museum?' This question stimulated the museum visitors to reflect upon rituals of appreciating and keeping, and to relate the museum exhibits to the relics to which they attribute private significance.

Using a Polaroid camera to document contributors and objects, and a tape recorder for their stories and comments, she imposed no restrictions on the choice of personal favorites.

Her concern was to warehouse the portraits of people and objects in the most neutral possible way, so that every image and statement is equally valid. The DVD–ROM storage medium allows the body of contributions to be archived exactly as they were documented. The stories stand for themselves and, like an atlas of everyday life, show a random collection of people whose relationship to the world is revealed through the objects they identify with."
(Ursula Frohne)

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02 JANUARY 2004

Things Spoken: a catalogue of Her belongings

"Most people collect objects during their lives. These can be gifts, souvenirs, momentos, personal artifacts, found things, etc. Their significance for their 'collectors' are usually contextual and personal.

This CD–ROM presents a selection of about 50 objects that I have collected, put together in such a way that the viewer can make an interactive exploration of both their singularities and their possible (inter)relationships. Each object has been digitized on a flat–bed scanner, whose consequent transformation of the original object is a form of aesthetic reconstitution characteristic for 'multimedia'. Embedded in a machinal darkness, the objects reveal themselves insubstantially, idiosynchratically in the reflected red, green and blue light of the scanning process.

The viewer can sort these objects by various criteria such as size, weight, colour, function, or such as in the case of gifts, the gender of the persons who gave them to me. In this way that 'feverish' method by which digital archives can be reorganised according to any criteria is here applied in a manner that is as gratuitously personal as the objects themselves.

Each object is accompanied by my personal narrative that led me to keep these often trivial things and by the account of friends. The third layer of interactivity comes from within these spoken narratives. Specific words are hypertextually linked to any reoccurences oaf those words elsewhere. In this way the viewer can instantly make links between objects and their associated stories. These chance conjunctions in the narratives amplify potential relationships that let the viewer discover further layers of congruency and signification within this very personal of objects."

(Media Art Net)

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