Recurring Objects

Recurring Objects: Heirlooms, trinkets, or otherwise…

Some objects are stuck in our memory. We remember seeing them as we move from house to house, from apartment to apartment, from country to country.  These are the things, the stuff that always finds their way in one of our moving boxes. We remember them resting on a dusty shelf, on a coffee table at our mother’s house, or inside the cupboard of our grandmother’s silverware. Some of these objects had a definite function in one of their former lives; others we are not sure what their intended purpose was or where they come from, but still, they have a presence. They occupy space. These objects are the trinkets that you once thought you would never display in your own home; on the clean shelves of your modern dwelling. And yet these objects that you despised are the ones stuck in your memory; the ones that appear in your dreams. The ones that you observed as a little girl and wondered what were they used for; how long had they been there. Suddenly you realize that you’ve lived with these objects for a long time; that they are part of you. You observe them again. They look different, smaller, softer; you can hear through them the crackling sounds of all those years spent passing from household to household; of all those years that they stood there in a cupboard, on a dusty shelf, on a coffee table, in a kitchen drawer or at the bottom of the cardboard box you never opened.

In coming to terms with my memories of these objects, with their textures, with their past and present lives, with the sounds lodged within them, I photograph them.  I take two images of the same object from slightly different angles and with different color temperatures. I join the two photos with a texture of illegible pixel noise. The texture acts like a permeable border that traces a formal transition between the two images representing my lapses of memory; the temporal distance that marks a difference between these recurring recollections.

In the video version, the pixel noise is sonified with a sound mix that blends room tone with sounds of the objects being dusted or touched. I attempt to create a visual record that captures the recurring mental images of these objects to purge them from my imagination, archive them, to put them to rest.

Image Credit:  Aceves Sepúlveda, G. (2019) “Recurring Objects Recurring Objects: Heirlooms, trinkets, or otherwise…” In Mapping Meaning, The Journal. Special Issue on “Archives and Photography” edited by Nat Castañeda, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky and Trudi Lynn Smith (Fall 2019, Issue 3), 100-106. Available at