Gray-Blue Steel Box with Art Deco Hinge

Some thoughts about the increasing obsolescence of small physical storage boxes.  I know obsolescence is a strong word, and yes, Ikea probably sells thousands and thousands of these kinds of boxes which are made to look old.  However, there is no question that the majority of photographs and documents in our world have moved into the no-space of the internet.  Our world is less and less physical.  Donna Haraway makes my claims seem pretty humble by suggesting that “even bodies themselves may become irrelevant” (Cyborg Manifesto).

  • boxes are becoming obsolete as our world and our methods of archiving move away from the physical and into the digital realm
  • the increasing obsolescence of these particular kinds of small wooden and metal boxes is curious since photographs, documents, and letters, objects that are strongly associated with feelings of sentimentality and nostalgia, are the most important sociological phenomena of human history, while
  • the functionality of other types of boxes that are associated with more banal expressions of our physical existence (such as the refrigerator for food) endure
  • the internet has usurped small boxes as the new repository of emotional relics
  • perhaps a lack of physical evidence for our emotions creates anxiety and an ever-increasing need to share more
  • an embrace of the box as an expression of opposition to the new simulacra of human experience