In this module, we’ll explore the relationship between material artefacts, embodied practices that allow us to express and transform grief, trauma and anguish and ubiquitous computing.
In this exercise, you’ll explore firsthand the practices of divestment explored by Corina Sas in her work: ‘Designing personal grief rituals’ and ‘Design for Rituals of Letting Go’ (see figure.) In this study, they work with 12 psychotherapists to understand how they use rituals of letting go to overcome loss. The participants describe in detail the aspects of rituals and practices around material artefacts that are successful in helping to let of and move on from personal tragedy, trauma, grief and loss. These embodied therapies were found to belong to three broad categories
In exploring these rituals, they note: “people increasingly have digital possessions, and that the act of deletion does not offer the same cathartic sense of release as disposal of material artifacts.” So, how might we bridge the gap between the resonance of embodied practices with material objects with deletion of digital content through new smart and connected devices?
As inspiration for your investigation of digital forgetting, this exericse will ask you to enact one of these embodied therapeutic rituals for moving on and letting go. Choose a one of the method of disposal discussed by Sas, Whittaker & Zimmerman and perform it on a symbolic object of your past that you’d like to forget.
Brief: Experiment with divesting memories by preforming a ritual of letting go (refer to Sas paper and discussion in class) and document your experiences.
Alternative: If you find this too personal an exercise or you would prefer not to share your experiences, you’re welcome to interview two or three people about their experiences of ‘letting go’. Talk with them about a ritual or practices they’ve used to move on from their past.
Note This is a warmup exercise and you should spend around 2 hours on this exercise.
As part of this exercise you will be asked to:
You are asked to deliver three things for this warm up exercise:
The narrative and reflection should be approx 150-200 words (max.)
Share your outcomes as a post on the #projects channel of on Slack.