What matters to you? A collective storytelling project about the emotional value of things

by Valentina Ciarapica and Alessia Rotondo

What would we like to share with the people of the future about our personal lives? This question lies at the heart of a mysterious video which shows up online out of nowhere.

Things That Matter has been selected by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt of Berlin in the framework of the Anthropocene Program-Future Storytelling, a competition that aims to explore the Anthropocene hypothesis using any digital forms of narration.

Through this transmedia project we want to investigate the human ability to acquire and produce beauty and value. We constantly decide what’s valuable and what’s not and man has always been interested in collecting single objects with certain qualities.

Before the birth of museums, cabinets of curiosities were packed with items classified under some controversial but still imaginative categories. The ultimate goal was to arouse the visitor with a sense of wonder.

Things That Matter is not about universal valuable objects. It is about what makes a single object valuable, and why.

What matters to you? from Yuri Blake on Vimeo.

Yuri speaks from the future, seeking traces of our contemporary civilization and organizing the items he receives in his Wunderkammer, an astounding cabinet of curiosities. Since all knowledge about our present era has disappeared, we are all asked to share a relevant object of personal value with an accompanying story that a web platform will host.

New content will be uploaded every Monday: we are creating a community of users who will wait for this weekly appointment, browsing the website, enjoying the stories by others and sharing them using social media. After this first step, our goal is to build a physical exhibit in a virtual reality space and one of the options we are exploring is the use of Oculus Rift technology.

Through a hashtag-based system, we want to rearrange all of the user generated content from each category to create an imaginative virtual journey and interactive installation. Like the Wunderkammers of the XVI century, in our future Wunderkammer the order of each item will follow a thread, telling the audience a collective story of our time.

The installation will not just be a simple translation of the web platform: since the web Wunderkammer works as an archive collecting tokens, through the virtual Wunderkammer the user will experience an epic tale composed of many personal stories.

We believe that the power of crowdsourcing is the only honest way to sketch a portrait of this time. And we love the idea of a project that moves from the invisible world of the Internet to a virtual installation happening in the here and now.

headerOf course, one of the biggest challenges is to capture the attention of the audience in a saturated and competitive scenario. The Internet is packed, but the good news is that you don’t need to be a photographer nor a writer to join the project: the call for action is literally for everyone.

We want Things That Matter to be a space for self-expression. Things That Matter is about the microhistory challenging the bigger, official history. It’s a collective act of imagination that will help us to build a possible museum of the future.

We want to show how common items are significant to understand our present. That’s why we want to know your Thing that matters: choose an object, take a picture, tell the story, hashtag it.

Be a part of this overwhelming co-created work about the era we live in.


Things That Matter is also on Facebook and Twitter