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Data Remnant

Multi-media Installation, 2013

Data Remnant is a water installation displaying the materialization and visualization of trashed sound files which I collected from public computers. It is composed of a video projection of data flow of these digital trashes, a 3d printed object which materializes sound, and a low-frequency sound that vibrates the water tank.


If my body were made from a piece of data, I may wish that I could be constantly accessed and read by my users, be duplicated, distributed, or shared over the network. I may wish that I could become a unique piece of data that is treasured in someone's hard drive. Expiration, abandonment, or deletion all can announce the death of my life. Living as a virtual object is different from living in the material world. It requires attention, use, and backup performed by user. However, death of data does not mean that it is not functional anymore. It is, like human being, the deletion of memory, the forgetting of its presence by the last person who used to remember it.



For this project, I recycled all types of “digital trash” and activated their potential of being reused for certain purpose. Recollection means revitalization of the data.

A sound materialization and visualization is made by processing, compressing and modeling those sound trashes I collected from hard drives on different computers into a geometric solid form. A 3D printed object then was created and placed into the installation, a water tank that creates a volatile space mediating between tangible and intangible reality.

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All Images Copyright © Mengyu Chen | Media Art, Design, Technology

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