We are all familiar with the Dark Side of the love tokens. The cultural history is full of tales of the chastity belts and keys from the tower that been worn into battle. Jordan Rozansky and David Odio created an excellent spoof that brings this into a 21st century. What you see here is a joke, but there is a warning in it: when looking for your 21st century accessories (be it your latest fitness gadget or a present from dearest and nearest), it is worth to conciser who is in control.
The keepsakes truly come in many shapes and forms. And this golden whistle is a testament to that. It was a first love token that Henry VIII gave to his beloved Ann Boleyn. This little pendent contained all necessities of the time that a future queen night have needed: a whistle, a spoon, a tooth-pick and of cause an ear-pick. now, this beautiful, if odd little object could be viewed at the British Galleries in room 58E of Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Perhaps one of the best known set of early pieces of Computational Jewellery was created in 2002 by a student of the Royal College of Arts for Professor Kevin Warwick Cyborg 2.0 experiment. Sure at first site these necklace and the bracelet could be mistaken with a techno-bling, But they did in fact reflect a remarkable advance in science, implicit interaction and affective design. This was a first time a peace of jewellery on one person was wirelessly connected to the senses of the other person. The implant in Proffessor Warwick's arm was connected both to his nervous system and to the web. when he felt cal, the necklace that his wife Irena war was glowing blue. When it was exited, the necklace was glowing red.
The exact origins of the keepsakes disappeared in a fog of human prehistory. But anthropologists generally agree that we humans have been exchanging these tender tokens of love and memories ever since we acquired language and culture. Not long ago, a team of archaeologists rediscovered two crude Nassarius shell beads, lost among the dusty cupboards of London's Natural History Museum. The beads were identified as the earliest known jewelry dated to be over one hundred thousand years old (Vanhaeren M., 2006). It is now difficult to know if the two ancient beads were part of a body decoration, an amulet, a symbol of status, or a reminder of a romantic walk by the sea. But it is fascinating to know that a hundred thousand of years later, similar shell beads along with an array of novel objects and materials are still being exchanged as gifts and used in personal adornment to represent the same archetypes.
"In all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
It is comforting to know, that as the Voyager 1 entered the interstellar space and left our star behind, it carried a snapshot of our humanity towards the distance worlds. A keepsake, containing voices and cultural references of our moment in time 37 years ago...
A golden record, carried on board of Voyager 1 spacecraft.