Rene Kusnawijaya

"Objectifying a digital memory"

Section MS2, Kelly Spanou

Keywords: photogrammetry, objects, narrative

For my project, I look at my juggling ball, in terms of its materiality, spatial qualities and my own relation with it. I was inspired by the performative, media-based project of artist Dan Graham with the photographers Harry Shunk and János Kender (1971), and I used photogrammetry alongside writing to mediate an ordinary personal moment with my juggling ball.

My project critically addresses the increasing digitalisation of objects, bodies and spaces. Because of this shift into the digital realm, physical objects are progressively reduced and sensory impressions like haptic, smell and weight are becoming secondary. This enables different ways of engaging with objects and in turn alters the ways we relate with the world. In my project, I juxtapose a digital artefact I created and a story I wrote. With the artefact, I am trying to capture the space in between my body and the juggling ball. With the story, I am expressing how I relate with the juggling ball and sensorial aspects of my engagement with this. This was an entry point to eventually spark a wider discussion about the role of digital tools and how they are being used as means to capture impressions of events and our senses.

"125 grams of millet, covered in synthetic leather, leave the palm of the hand in an upward direction against gravity. That initial moment, when movement triggers that invisible shield of focus, absorbs your mind. For as long as the imperfectly shaped, stitched ball continuously follows certain tracks, focus is maintained. It seems to rebound other sensory impressions, a few seconds before have been flooding the mind. A dynamic flow emerges. However, repeatedly moving in disobedience to gravity, the blue ball sends visual impressions and information to its surroundings. Relaxation, amusement, stressfulness, anger, are some of the many varied emotions that are triggered by this stitched ball, due to different surroundings, whether in private or public. However, most of the time it is only surveilled by one pair of eyes, that try to keep track of it. They trace it to send exact coordinates to the palm of the hand, so it can pivot in space to provide a soft landing, before muscles in the upper arm contract and shoot it back into the air. Again and again, it hits the ground. The little sound and shockwaves make the shield of focus burst. Deformed by the impact, still on the ground, the ball waits as a strict reminder of perseverance, silently asking to be picked up and reentered in that loop of cognition and recognition. Every now and then, the curtain of privacy slips up and new eyes may observe this losing game of perfect motion the ball is playing. Shaping lips to smiles for sheer amusement, making vocal cords vibrate to fill the room with laughter or receiving annoyed glances. So at times 125 grams of millet can mediate between an individual and its spectators the moment they enter in the cycle of kinetic energy called juggling."