The majority of the footage from my childhood tapes is of celebrations, with the accompanying presents: Xmas, birthdays, father’s day, Easter, Thanksgiving and its obscene excess; this gives the impression of abundance, excitement, of a prevailing happiness. The rest of life can only be inferred, either through the presence or absence of people (especially in relation to the context established by previous or future tapes), or by allusion to, treated in passing, off camera, only picked up in the recording because someone put a question to the camera holder that is not relevant to the scene, or an off-camera conversation captured silently by the microphone, like when my mom, holding the camera, is talking on the phone about potentially needing to garnish my birth father’s wages since he won’t pay child support while I sit next to Uncle Reuster on the couch and watch TV. The general image presented through the tapes then is one that has been selected to create, not just specific memories, but a specific way of remembering. This is a direct ancestor to the construction of personality online, and its primitiveness is apparent in these slippages that occur, which are conspicuously and loudly absent from the glistening digital hallways of people as curated information.

 

These tapes are also a curiously specific glance at the things which surround us, that make up our environment, the social artifacts of the emergent phenomenon of our simultaneous cultural existence: physical objects are given as gifts and then settle into their place as fixtures, as landmarks, as packaged and branded navigational aids, designed and optimized as efficient extraneous objects that solidify themselves in unimaginability, as in life being imaginable equally in their presence or absence. Not for their profundity or histrionics, but for their indistinct specificity, like the double alarm clock with its nestable alarms that automatically switches to battery power if the power goes out so I won’t be late for work again, and thank GOD it’s not black, they’re always black and it drives me crazy.

 

 

 

Mickey Mouse peek-a-boo

Mickey Mouse Peek-a-boo

Made by Illco

Garden hand tools

Garden Hand Tools

Made by Fisher-Price

my little computer

My Little Computer

Made by Texas Instruments

turtle sandbox

Turtle Sandbox

Made by Little Tikes

tonka bulldozer

Bulldozer

Made by Tonka

dump truck

Dump truck

Made by Tonka

cement mixer

Cement Mixer

Made by Tonka

baseball

Baseball Set

Made by Fisher-Price

basketball

Grow-to-pro Basketball

Made by Fisher-Price

barbie jeep

Barbie Jeep

Made by Fisher-Price

candy land

Candy Land

Made by Hasbro

etch-a-sketch

Etch A Sketch

Made by Ohio Art Company

firetruck

Firetruck

Made by Nylint

jack nicklaus' golf

Jack Nicklaus' Golf

Made by Konami

little people main street

Little People Main Street

Made by Fisher-Price

ambulance

Rescue Ambulance

Made by Playmobil

power workshop

Power Workshop

Made by Fisher-Price

ricochet

Ricochet

Made by Tonka

super soaker 1

Super Soaker 50

Made by Hasbro

super soaker 2

Super Soaker 100

Made by Hasbro

super soaker 3

Super Soaker XP105

Made by Hasbro

super spin car wash

Super Spin Car Wash

Made by Matchbox

wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow

Made by Little Tikes

work bench

Action Workshop

Made by Fisher-Price