"Their archaeological association provides an indication that these fossils have been collected by people for hundreds of thousands of years and, at times, attained a high degree of spiritual significance."
-Shepherds' crowns, fairy loaves and thunderstones: the mythology of fossil echinoids in England
Kenneth J. McNamara
Cave paintings, collecting rocks, etc. Human's have been shaping the world through their presence since prehistoric time. And through that creating history, leaving their mark through possessions and alteration of the environment. Perhaps that is an important part of consciousness, alteration. We change, therefore we are. And objects become representations of this. Despite the many arguments for letting go of material objects, it seems to be innately tied into our personalities. Perhaps physical objects are too specific, it could be collecting mementos, or creating impressions (carved names in nature). But in someway it seems to denote ownership.
These things exist because they a frozen moments, embodiments of memories that manifest in the alluring feeling of nostalgia. Art has always been this, and I doubt it will ever not be, because it is successful in its attachment to individuals memories. Art that tries to be devoid of this is a paradox because it instead allows the audience to devote all of their memories on to it. The opposite, like popularized objects, become meaningless only to be nostalgic down the road once people can remember them as a frozen moment they shared with only those who existed in it (the 90s kid experience).
Has data become nostalgic? Can it? Would this give it more meaning or the wrong meanings? And would this allow us to bond in community of research?