Un/necessary Objects

Un/necessary Objects explores the way simple material objects trigger memory and how living in a place with very present environmental threats causes us to evaluate the worth of our belongings and the potential impact of their loss.

In the booklet below, I talk about the Anthropocene (“the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment”) and Florida weather. A global pandemic was not part of the scope of my thinking when I was putting the exhibition together, but it very well could have been. There is a link between destroying/exploiting nature, disturbing habitats, zoonotic diseases (those which jump from animals to humans), and pandemics. (You can read more about that in this New Scientist article: How our abuse of nature makes pandemics like covid-19 more likely.)

The day the Un/necessary Objects exhibition opened at CREDO Conduit in Orlando, Florida – March 11, 2020 – was the same day the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. The exhibition was supposed to run until April 8, 2020, but remained in place until June 27, 2020. During those months, I would look for this or that item to use, wondering where I had put it, only to remember it was inside a locked building and inaccessible. There are ways to make due in terms of an object’s functionality, but I actively missed quite a few of the objects. Were those objects important considering everything going on in the world? Yes and no. No for obvious reasons. Yes because meaningful objects can help ground us in times of uncertainty.

(expand or download to view the booklet)