2023 - 2024 [web design] [animation] [book design] [video]

Does everything online last forever?

FORCING EVERYTHING I’VE LOST TO RETURN. began by exploring this through a quest: to look for livestreams that I had made as a child on a now-defunct app. Similar to many of my peers, I had unrestricted internet access at an early age. Uh oh. That means everything I’ve ever done online is forever documented somewhere... At least that’s what I was told growing up. But I guess this isn’t true. Not everything online is forever — nothing is.

Aside from my self-documentation online, vast documentation of myself exists through physical photographs and videos — the most compelling being the videos of my birth. As I continued work on this project, an interest in physical and personal archives arose. This expanded the investigation to explore the connection between physical and digital artifacts, memory, loss, and preservation, within a rapidly evolving technological context. Over time, a new question came to the forefront: How can I make something last forever?

This work further defines my creative practice — from process to output. FORCING EVERYTHING I’VE LOST TO RETURN. is unequivocally an amalgamation of my interests and thoughts made accessible to others.

-> view on the Parsons Communication Design site (and look at other cool work!)
-> published in Framework 103

This five-part video marks the beginning of the project, combining new and found footage to document my tangential process of looking for these missing livestreams. I mined through various sources of evidence which included going through old email accounts (thank you google suite), the wayback machine, and old cloud files. These videos served as the project's root and prompted everything else to be made, as more questions than answers surfaced. This prompted my obsession with finding these livestreams to grow continuously.

View Finding My Lost Livestreams:

Through the mining of my digital past, I encountered many forgotten items. In particular, I found many old G-chat threads (RIP). Building on my videos, reusing and recontextualizing the past had become a part of my process. After my investigation hit a wall, I repurposed one of these chats. Featuring characterized versions of myself, my cousin, and my sibling, the animation plays on my 3DS which I have logged countless hours of Tetris onto. This work was pivotal in making me think about the vital role of conversation in the inception and execution of the project. 

-> Watch GCHAT From December 2011 

Unable to find my livestreams, I wanted to turn to the tangible, the physical — the videos of my birth. Despite my efforts of consulting the family archives (aka living room shelf), I didn't find these videos. The confusion I felt couldn't be put into words, so I created a digital experience as a recount. This resulted in a maze-like website with pop-up windows combined with photos found in the family chat as narration. Preservation, or rather a lack thereof, had become a new interest. I wondered... How do I preserve everything I’ve now made?

-> visit finding my birth (opens in new tab, best viewed in Chrome)

As I considered methods of preservation, it seemed to me that opposites work for preservation. We're in a constant limbo of digitizing and physicalizing our data. I began seeing the work I had made as conversations between my past, present, and future selves. I thought about the oldest forms of preserved conversation — language and religion. I felt that these were preserved through script, or altering physical means, such as the rosetta stone and the ten commandments. I decided apply the same philosophy for my work by turning G-Chat from December 2011 into stone. 


DIGITAL ❶ FORCING EVERYTHING I’VE LOST TO RETURN.  ❷ Lanternflies go bye bye!  ❸ 25    PRINT ❶ 256Fish Tomato Tomato ❸ Search History ❹ Consider the Lobster   Aquariums Make Me Hungry!    MOTION ME/ROBOT/FISH ❷ M E T A M O R P H O S i S  ❸ Game On...  ❹ Goodnite    >PLAY<