Wonder Lab__Ex1: Wunderkammer

Myths to Live By, by Joseph Campbell / Sketchbook / Trigun Cat Beanie / Assorted Dice / Japanese Wooden Bracelet / Magic the Gathering Cards / Subset of Rock Collection / Razer Deathadder Gaming Mouse / Forest Digital Painting Playmat

Assembling my Wunderkammer initially seemed like a bit of a challenge. As someone who lives a life comprised of largely digital experiences and prides themselves on owning very few things, finding physical objects that held personal significance was no small feat.

To address this, I tried to create a more objective way of choosing objects, and came up with a question. The objects in my Wunderkammer were chosen using this question as a vetting tool: If this object were to be destroyed, and replaced with a functionally identical object, would I be disappointed that I did not have the original?

Even under this constraint, I had trouble filling the minimum of 10 objects, and filled a couple of the remaining slots with additional collected rocks.

Below are the comments from my peers:

Looking back at my collection, I found that the set seemed to fall into four non-mutually-exclusive categories: Tech, Stories, Nature, and Play with some objects floating between two or more categories. As a sort of rough way of looking at these, I turned these categories as axes and looked at my objects on a graph:

Objects organized into 4 categories

What this helped me realize is that my axes didn’t exactly make sense as opposing metrics, so this type of categorization left me unsatisfied with the placement of some items. For example, the mouse, an object strongly associated with tech and play, also reminds me of times gaming with friends throughout high school, and the stories from those friendships, even though the item itself is functionally about play.

Additionally, “Nature” felt like an awkward metric because while items like the rocks were ‘natural’ in a more pure sense, the bracelet was not, but it wasn’t exactly technical either. The “Nature” I used in this context referred more to an aesthetic, or a sense of ‘otherworldly-ness’ or ‘fantasy’ as some of my peers mentioned.

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