Do you ever wonder where your memories will end up? You’ve been scattering digital scraps around the internet and hoarding files on hard drives for probably more than a decade. What happened to those MSN convos from Jr. High School? When you’re 150 years old and die peacefully in your sleep, does the drunk Facebook conversation you had with a one night stand in your twenties die with you? Your life has been documented. Your correspondence is now permanent. Where you’ve been is no longer just filed in your mind. Your digital junk trunk is a bottomless pit. Thank god it’s all kept under the lock & key of two-factor authentication passwords to keep prying eyes from combing through your stuff. Right?
Sarah Di Domenico (a Toronto native and former Sid Lee-er) is an artist who strolled into an antique store and bought a trunk. Inside, she found a story. The trunk was filled with those “this feels weird to toss away because there’s some inherent emotional layer to it, so I’m just gonna file & save it inside this trunk so I don’t have any regrets” type objects. The memories belonged to a man named Omar Majid. Personal letters, photos, and other artifacts. When put together, it collectively became a window into the follies of a young gentleman. Out of pure passion for storytelling, she transcribed the letters and catalogued them into a timeline. Real-life characters emerged from the past, and a story that would’ve never been shared, is unfolded before our eyes. Sarah then had modern-day real life couples reinterpret the love notes between Omar and his female suiters into artworks which were then exhibited in Toronto - proving that while the medium may change, the message is timeless.
I wanted to correspond with Sarah about A Young Man’s Follies, but I wanted to do it with the same voyeuristic spirit that inspires her project. So here are screenshots of a thread of message bubbles. It’s a reflection of context, when and where it’s appropriate to remove something from a private conversation; and an exercise in creating digital fragments to maybe one day be discovered and told in the same way this dear Omar’s story was told.