The ratio of those lives that are extensively documented to those lives that are lost to time is unfathomable. Societal status, random chance, era lived, or proximity to archival impulses are all factors involved in determining the stability of any sort of cohesive or conclusive legacy. A truly complete record of any one person’s existence is impossible to comprehend, let alone achieve. At the Institute for Clew Studies we acknowledge the absurdity of resisting the inevitable obscurity that awaits all but a very select few of us. Yet, isn’t the very act of living itself an effort at resisting obscurity?
In our digitally driven culture, unlike previous generations, we have both more and less control over the publicly accessible information about each of us that accumulates over a lifetime. Whether we knowingly contribute that information or not, it is more than likely that a simple Google search will lead to data that, with varying degrees of accuracy, reveals something about who we are and the lives we lead. Social media platforms and personal websites allow us to curate our digital profiles to some degree. Yet, as more information is made available on line, we are less able to manage the biographical details that will linger long after we are gone.
What inferences could be drawn about you from your digital footprint (that is, information you have contributed to the internet as well as information that exists outside of your authorship)? If you or anyone close to you participates in social media does the profile truly represent who you are? Will you be understood with any reasonable degree of accuracy if anyone decides to research your life in the future? What traces of your life will be left for future generations to interpret?
The Clew Registry is an opportunity to contribute to your own narrative by recording some aspect of yourself that would not otherwise be documented or remembered. What will the future never know about you, what detail/fact/characteristic/event/habit/story will be lost to time, if you do not submit it to the Clew Registry?
What is the Clew Registry?
The Clew Registry is an art project delighting in the absurdity of attempting to resist the inevitable obscurity that awaits all but a select few of us.
What should I write on the Clew Card?
A detail, fact, characteristic, event, habit, story about yourself that would otherwise be lost to time. We aren’t asking you to reveal personal information or intimate secrets (unless you want to!). Rather, we are interested in documenting something about you that would be forgotten or not otherwise known if you do not submit it to the Clew Registry.
What will happen to my Clew?
The Clews become part of the publicly accessible archives at the Institute for Clew Studies where visitors to the ICS office are invited to read through them. They will also become part of a digital database that will be accessible on the ICS website. The Clews will serve of inspiration for future artworks.