Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wired News: The Curse of Storage:

Having a photo of something was as satisfying as owning it, sometimes more so. In 2000, when I moved into a tiny apartment in New York's Chinatown, I began a habit that continues to this day: I rented a Manhattan Mini Storage unit and stashed 90 percent of my "permanent collection" out of sight and out of mind. I became an iceberg, with most of my cultural weight hidden below the waterline. Without my past around me, I felt younger, more buoyant. And yet I never quite had the courage to jettison everything. That's the curse of storage!

If storage is in crisis, it's because the web has become everything a library used to be. The web is something like the Aleph that Jorge Luis Borges talked about, the point in space that contains all other points, and from which everything can be seen clearly. It's the "window on the world" McLuhan told us every dominant medium pretends to be -- and of course betrays us by never quite becoming.

8:12 PM