hash2ash – Everything Saved Will Be Lost

The art collective panGenerator was commissioned by the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw “to create a work that would examine an aspect of teenage life”. The outcome is a project called hash2hash. The installation encourages visitors to take a selfie, which is then projected onto a screen just before turning into a gravel cascade.

The installation highlites on the topics of selfie-culture, as well as the anxiety about entirely losing the digital records of our lives as a result of technological failures, the impermanence of information storage, or simply because of the obsolescence of the old digital file formats.

“Even with such compulsive overproduction of the images of ourselves we might end up with nothing but the blank memories of our past,” says Pangenerator. “Even the data on ourselves will eventually fade away.”

The installation begins by transmitting a selfie through a mobile website prior to being shown on a big screen. The picture is then cropped, assumably employing a face recognition algorithm which converts each and every pixel into gravel, which then fall below the monitor.

It is a sober glance at the hollowness and shallowness of the memories being created nowadays. Through crumbling pictures, this exhibit calls for cultural self-examination in a very subtle and appealing way.