When I'm not here
an exploration of the second death through digital decomposition in a form of self-destruction video sculpture aiming to enhance the value of impermanence.
I believe that there are two stages of dying. First is the biological death when all of our cells die from a lack of oxygen. The second will come when our stories, thoughts, or beliefs are diminished from the world by being forgotten. And this is the stage where we are peacefully leaving this world.
In the digital era, it is inevitable for us to produce a ton of digital footprints. We can not deny that our personal computers, smartphones, and social media contain our personality and also many aspects of ourselves. These technologies have been created to memorize the data as long as the machine is running. Most of the time, we are drastically trying to prevent losing the data by backing up and preserving it. We are desperately trying to remember and be remembered. Therefore, I started to question how we can reach the final stage of death if some parts of ourselves are still stuck within the digital world and computer’s memories. Is it possible for our digital self to leave this world in peace?
When I’m Not Here is a self-destruction video sculpture containing my last words for people I love in a video format. Every time the video is played, the digital data in the file will be gradually corrupting by automatically rewriting some part of the information inside of itself until it is unwatchable. The process of people watching this video will be the dying process of my digital self and also my transformation from a living organism and digital archive into memories. Hopefully, I will live as long as they remember me. This is a ‘time-based media art since I have to keep the piece working until my last day. Then, that day would finally become the real exhibition of this work. Please hold on to it :)