One of my very first images, self portrait from 1996

One of my very first images, self portrait from 1996

New York Sex Museum Exhibit 

Bellow is the text I wrote to accompany the exhibit in 2012 (group show)

“Digital Archeology”

text By Natacha Merritt


 As I dig into my erotic archive for those things I left behind the very frailty and historical value of my digital life becomes apparent. So much is inevitably lost, at the same time so many trails remain -often unexpected versions of personal stories. With each new upgrade, in the name of the larger, the stronger the faster, some older pixels vanish. Today’s new relentless version of Photoshop doesn’t give a shit about my 340x240 pixel image from 1996. And that auto save function I forgot to disable just skinned off a few more pixels from a 50k image.

I dust off the 10 year old drive, and dig through a coffin size mound of cables to find the right power source and connecting cables. This archeological process is delicate, like a shattered vase the pieces of digital machinery are scattered randomly in various storage spaces, and not all parts can be recovered. I attach the drive to a thick matte black laptop from 1998. And when it finally reboots, It burns under my palms. The fan is dead, the drive won’t last long. The digital decay is everywhere and the race to preserve these files is urgent. Like the Lascaux cave paintings that can’t be exposed to oxygen. Quick, I must move these pixels to a safer location. It’s chance really, which moments where photographed and out of those which ones escaped off dying hardware and onto the healthier device of the moment.

 How many images does it take to preserve an erotic memory, enough to recall the taste? And then, how many copies make the content safe? A lot.

 No matter how low the resolution, I cherish those antique pixels. They are integral to my sense of self, to my personal history. The raunchier the better. With time erotic emotions are nearly impossible to recall. And orgasms, those are the most fleeting. Arousal, excitement, flirtation, these memories, without mementos evaporate with as much furry as when they occurred. The digital relics quickly reboot my memory and enliven my sexuality today. In a sea of corrupt unrecognizable folders I discover an image of a kinky precious moment. Yes it happened, and it was hot. The past is back. It’s in the form of a luscious little pixelated artifact. 

reaching to my future self