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16 March 2009


David Whittle

My take on this is that rather than killing off charm, it emphasises it. Because you have *access* to whatever you need in some optimised, digital, efficient form, the utility of the objects you own ceases to matter so much. Instead, you can own objects purely for aesthetic reasons.

Lots of examples spring to mind, but here's a simple one: digital music opens up the possibility of infinite, flawless, reproducible, shareable copies of songs. So freed from the requirement of being an authoritative repository for a recording (for which they're a bit rubbish), vinyl records can be enjoyed for their charm.


Loving your chaos! I'm really interested to know what the teens of today are going to think about DVDs and albums and stuff - will they want something physical to hold? I know people already who sell books on Ebay as soon as they've read them, but like you, I like to have stuff, not least to lend to other people.
In fact the concept of lending something to someone is going to change, isn't it?

charlie gower

David, I like what you say about emphasising charm. Yes it broadens the gap doesn't it.

I'm not sure I think digital is optimised but efficient, of course.

I also believe the charm exists in the functioning of the objects not only in the aesthetic value so therefore I think reproduction has become easier (in digital mediums) but less enjoyable. Making a tape was a pleasant experience (in analogue) although perhaps not the most efficient method of the process.

charlie gower

Dan, yes indeed. What are those kids up to! Clearly quality isn't an issue any more.

Everything has become disposable, files as well as physical objects so I do wonder whether growing up in this disposable age, kids can actually keep things. Perhaps the ownership mindset is a dying one for the younger generations....


Emphasising the importance of charm is a nice take.

Is that Ernie on the top shelf?

charlie gower

not Ernie, it's Roosevelt Franklin!

Tony Heywood

I love collect old vinyl, video tapes, C90's, books and magazine. I had a really good find of five years worth of old Wire magazine in a shop in Lyme Regis at the weekend. £15 for a load of time travel into the world of free jazz, electronica and the dark past. Priceless.

What I fear most is that those finds at car boots, charity shops and jumble sales just won't happen as there is nothing to pass on. People won't pass on hard drives or old MP3 players. This why I have started to do this act of dropping random mix cds in public places just so people can get the thrill of find something new, odd and exciting.


Come and have a look. I would love other people to get involved in this project.




another factor to the idea of ownership or collecting is the concept of instant gratification. digital files arrive in seconds. whereas searching for and purchasing these kinds of 'things' takes time (less time than it used to, but still). you have to search for your favourite book by going in and out of bookstores, you traverse, meet, chat, exchange. looking for your favourite e-book? search itunes and wham, bam, thank you mam. i think patience and the joy of discovery is going to be one of the first casualties of the digital revolution.
and then charm. a very close second.
almost at the same time, even.

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