The Eraser

A collaborative project by Shawn Soh and Persiis Hajiyanni

"Expiration dates ask us to reflect on the value of information by showing the movement of time."

In this digital age, we are living in a bombardment of moments layered upon other moments. The invention of smartphones and their applications have encouraged an obsessive culture of enshrining moments virtually; this reflects on society's inability to handle technology and along with it, its social repercussions.

For example, a common sight we see today:
• A couple tinkering on their iPhone on a romantic date
• Tourists Instagram-ing sights instead of taking it in
• Lonebirds scrolling on Facebook to fill in silent gaps in a house party
• That 60 seconds of awkward waiting as your friend frantically snaps pictures of your food when it arrives in a restaurant…

With that as a starting point, Persiis Hajiyanni and I wanted to make something that made a comment on society today. We used the metaphor of "Snapchat" as it showcases moments with an expiry date. We felt expiration dates are important because it asks humans to reflect on the value of information by showing the movement of time: our present never staying still; it vanishes in a constant instance, and is erased to become a permanent past. Having an expiration date on information might also encourage people to leave their virtual worlds and live in the moment.

Together with the help of Ryan Smaglik, an electronic engineer, we created an interactive analog Snapchat with an Arduino, thermal printer and hair straightener.

Exhibited at:
Elaborate Exhibition, Lethaby Gallery (London, UK)
The DELETE Show, 71a Gallery (London, UK)

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Photo Credit: Francesco Corsini