Studio B: Value and Meaning

In our studio task on Thursday, October 25th was to take our objects out of the personal contexts they have for us and place them into a broader contextual field. We did this in two ways: Through the view of an eBay consumer, and through a museum description.


To begin, we took photographs of the items we had with us and edited them according to specifications. Our group’s photographs were taken by Jay. We then did research about the editorial layout of eBay itself and talked in our group to ascertain more about the individual objects. Through this, we were able to write a short summary of them, trying to “sell” them to the audience on eBay. I was in charge of writing, and worked with Doris to describe the objects, while Yash did the layout of the images and text in InDesign.

Museum Descriptions:

We used some of the photographs Jay had taken in the first step to work on the second part of the activity: the museum descriptions. Our task was to write a description of our objects from the perspective of a museum in the year 3018, and to use more culturally relevant information in this section. We decided to write the descriptions as if the people from 3018 did not quite know what the objects were, so, for example, my wooden angel became a “tree-based human figure with wings” and Doris’s necklace became an “amber pendant on a string.”

We also threw in an interesting consideration in making the people from the future unaware of religion, and by making my object donated by a collector, Doris’s object found, and Yash’s object donated by herself with a letter, which was quoted and annotated in the description. In this way, describing the objects from the third-person and in a completely objective stance was both interesting and open our minds to what the objects could mean and what they might mean to others who do not know much of the context behind them, especially not our personal contexts.

Additional requirements

  • All summaries had to be no more than 75 words
  • All objects had to include titles
    1. 10 words only for the eBay prompt
  • eBay Considerations
    1. Heading
    2. Price
    3. eBay Category
    4. Description
  • Museum Description
    1. Dates of origin
    2. Places of origin
    3. Materials
    4. Owner’s name

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