Mundane relics

A popular belief is that technology will fail us at some point, data storage included. The premonition seems to be legitimate: what could we do when we are left only with an obscure error code or a cryptic warning?

It is easy to picture all the imaginaries surrounding the traces of this abrupt disappearance: the error message quickly becomes a tirade from a digital iteration of the Book of the Dead, the pieces of plastic and metal become a receptacle you are willing to keep and preserve as it has once received and hosted your data. In fact, every drive could be turned into a mundane relic. This precious artefact is a hopeful lead making you think that, maybe one day, it could be used – even summoned – to bring back your lost data.

A hard drive in a coffer
A corrupted USB drive exhibited in a frame as a funeral urn
A corrupted USB drive within a frame with its error code