"Collectors of Traces" is a reflection on the relationship between individuality and belonging. It is also about appropriation and the documentation of physical traces of invisible memories. The work is part of my doctoral research project at Hasselt University and PXL-MAD School of Arts in Hasselt, Belgium, which is funded by the Special Research Fund (BOF) of Hasselt University (BOF21DOC04).
As part of the project, machine-made rings were distributed (for a certain time) to different people.
There are 2 versions of this project. In one, I knew the participants and had selected them myself. These individuals wore their rings for a year. In the 2nd version, I did not select the participants, but the rings were distributed anonymously and as paart of a cultural event at the Baltimore Jewelry Center. Also, they only wore the rings for a period of 4-6 weeks.
For both projects, participants decided how often they wore their rings. At the end of the pre-determined time, the rings were to be returned to me so that I could document and continue to work with the surface traces that were caused by wearing the rings. The results are various prints showing (enlarged) traces of the surfaces.
The prints, based on enlarged etchings of the rings from the second version of the project, were first publicly exhibited at the Baltimore Jewelry Center from 29.04.23 to 11.05.23. Each participant could pick up a print of their ring surface traces as a thank you. The prints based on the other version of the project are still in progress.