I’ve passed this mural a lot and have always wanted to stop for a closer look. It’s just as powerful up close as it is passing by. I looked up the artist, Dave Young Kim, and found his blog. There’s also this article about him and this mural.
I really like his post about mourning the loss of the voicemails when he switched to a new cell phone. He says:
Apparently when you switch from any phone to an iphone your voicemail gets completely wiped. I’ve had on there for years my niece calling me leaving messages for me, her sentences getting slowly more complicated as she got older, and the missed calls from my dad telling me his mom died or the time my parents calmly called letting me know my uncle had injured his head (from which he would die from a few days later). Going from dumb phone to a smarty (happened on 3-17-13) was an emotional experience, one I tried to put off for as long as I could, evading the urging of my wife, but it was nothing compared to the loss of those vmails, like I could physically feel it – it’s one of those things, you know.
And I have the text messages on my phone that I’ve saved for years, the ones from the beginnings of when my wife (then gf) and I first started dating, to randoms – important ones but ones I don’t remember because I havent looked at them for so long, to the ones where my sister texted about a fight she’s having with my mom, one that’s inspired my art work recently, to the ones notifying me that an old family friend suddenly died. These I actually still have on my old phone but they’re encased forever in this physical body never being able to enter into the digital world again ostensibly making them useless. As my new phone was being activated I sat there completely engulfed in systematically, one-by-one, emailing to myself each of the 300 text messages so that they could have life again in their new virtual bodies, but my project was abruptly stopped as the activation when through. I got all of 30 or so messages sent – only the oldest ones. But this isn’t nearly as bad as grief I feel from the lost voicemails.
I don’t understand my obsession with documentation, the need to hold on to pieces of the past, and capture moments in the present, I’m convinced I’m a hoarder, of images, although I’ve never seen an episode from the series which has them as their subject, but you know they all have these crazy pasts like they got raped or had some traumatic relationship at some point, so it makes me wonder about myself, what ever happened to me. I just blame it on my slacker memory, I can’t trust it so I’m dependent on physical evidence to trigger the thought. It might be the fumes or past substance abuse or it might not even be true, just a figment of my imagination but I won’t risk it by not keeping the mementos that’ll give my memory the shove it needs.