Life is memory. The present is what we perpetually inhabit, but humans tend to always be looking back, grasping at a real or imagined past. I wanted to focus my artist book on memory and how memories can be experienced through their association with objects. The idea of the music box seemed like a good place to start—I grew up with a music box on my shelf and remember its sound distinctly. I decided to create my own “book box” in the style of the music box to serve as my artist book. Next, I considered the physical design of a music box and focused on it as a container for other “relics” of my experiences. In doing so, the artist book came together as a collection of objects with personal significance and memories attached to them, with the inclusion of poetry.
While my artist book plays with the concept of the past, I also wanted to look towards the future—that is where the digital component comes in. I thought of the haunting, classical melody of the music box from my childhood and asked myself, ‘How can I transform this into a modern sound?’ Moreover, how can I relate the physical artist book with the online portion in a way that speaks to the interconnectedness of the past, present, and future? I went on to do some sound mixing and transformed a classic music box track into a modern, RNB/Hip-Hop sound. I was able to take something from my childhood and bring it into my life now in a new and interesting way. While there are some aspects of one’s past better left behind, it doesn’t all have to be—one can find new ways to bring the past into focus and learn from it to create a better future.