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ZACHARY DEOCADIZ

Digital Stories

About Digital Stories

My role: solo designer, storytelling, experiential design, print design

How do we talk about our digital lives?

“Digital Stories” questions the concept of people having separate digital and physical lives and is a critique of the notion that digital friendships mean less than physical ones.

My own personal history to the digital has been something I’ve been very reluctant to talk about for a very long time. It has, however, impacted my personal relationships, my design work, and my life decisions. From influencing my decision to go into design, to giving me a predisposition to anything computer-related, I have not been able to separate my online life from any plans I make concerning my future. Now that I am close to making some large life decisions, my degree project is an attempt to reconcile myself with my past in order to better understand where I want to go in the future.

Visit the Project Website

Key highlights:

Exhibition and Presentation

An installation to present all of the other work. I was only present in the space as a face at the front of the room, video chatting in. I didn't speak—I let my typing do the work for me. There was a separation between me and the audience, reminiscient of the seperation that exists on the web. Everyone attending sat at their own laptop, watching their own personal presentations, even while participating in a shared experience, reminiscient of the collective that you feel part of on the internet.

Panorama of presentation space Book display with the text "I'm scared of the future if I cannot define myself" Looking past a seated audience, there is a screen with the artist on it in the background Vinyl text on the wall listing usernames Looking over the shoulder of an audience member, you can see the project website where there is a presentation being shown

Digital Lives

The book consists of 4 parts:

Panorama of presentation space Book display with the text "I'm scared of the future if I cannot define myself" Looking past a seated audience, there is a screen with the artist on it in the background

A Love Letter to the Internet

A video performance that links to mass texts sent out to the audience. The video is a love letter to the internet, where the internet is treated as the collection of all my online friends. These friends appear throughout the video as Throughout the video, and even after the video ends, audience members will receive text messages with images or messages pulled from my personal archive of digital ephemera.

Photo from the exhibition, with the video playing on a computer screen Screenshot from the video Screenshot from the video Photos of people's phones with the texts coming in

Birthdays

A selection of digital ephemera—long forgotten files found on old harddrives, old email accounts, abandoned social media profiles—all related to my personal journey of exploring my self identity.

My search for my identity as a transgender man is impossible to separate from the internet. Growing up in a socially conserviative society, the internet was my safe haven and my confidant. This is my attempt at archiving the best and the worst moments of my journey by presenting my own digital history in a format for people to take and keep.

Photograph of the thumbdrive that contained all of the files Screenshot of the finder window showing all the files on the thumbdrive Photograph of the installation with the files printed out and displayed on a lightbox

Chatlogs

This work is a physical collection of chat logs, focused around my younger self. While often ephemeral, these chat logs have been given physical form, and once committed to paper are much harder to forget or put away. It can be found at a later date by anyone, regardless of permission.

There were 5 copies of this text made—all but one were placed in bookstores and libraries, among books about history, sociology, anthropology, and plays as a manifestation of digital culture in these physical spaces.

Image from the installation at the exhibition Photograph of the dedication spread from the book Photograph of a chapter spread from the book

Digital Humanism

An open Google Drive folder, giving edit permissions to everyone and anyone. The folder is an open collaboration that invites people to add their thoughts on computing, in an attempt to try give dignity to the computer. To allow the computer to be its own entity that cannot always be measured by human standards.

Screenshots of the Google drive