Rob Walker: When Digital Icons Become Physical Artifacts
Walker reminds us that, over the past few years, people have gotten used to buying digitized goods—like digital clothing for digital dolls—but we're now seeing a counter movement: iconic symbols from the virtual world finding physical form. “These objects remind me of friends who refer to things that happen IRL [in real life] with a kind of wink, suggesting that the dichotomy between digital and not-digital really has nothing to do with which one is ‘real’,” Walker writes. He adds that there's a darker subtext in how ubiquitous these symbols have become: “They’re more familiar to us than the shape of the leaves on the tree just outside your window.”
The post is a strong start for the Walker, hitting on a classic Walkeresque theme: namely, why material objects hold value for us. As in his insightful and witty talks, he manages to provoke closer consideration of the stories that our objects tell—stories about how we live and who we are.
Read more about consumerism speaker Rob Walker