This project was realized within the scope of the Master’s program “Media Studies: Digital Cultures” at Maastricht University. In the course “Creating Digital Collections” we learned within a few weeks how to capture a 3D dataset, how to create a 3D model, and how to curate it. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the creation process, as well as the accompanying lectures and tutorials, took place exclusively online. The collection is our response to the pandemic with which we want to contribute to the collective memory of COVID-19.

The Project

Right now, in 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic is our life’s reality. But how will people remember these times in 5, 10, or 20 years? How will they understand the pandemic and its consequences? This collection aims to provide answers to these questions by capturing this reality and by showcasing how it feels to live during a pandemic, by explaining how Covid has impacted our lives, and by expressing how we cope with the situation. Therefore, in this multimodal and interactive collection, 27 students, 27 objects, and 27 stories narrate 27 COVID-19 experiences.

Julia filling in her bullet journal
Qinwen reading the book she finished during the lockdown
Eleni playing her favorite card game
Celine reading her comfort book
Nika listening to their best playlist
Rebecca documenting the period

At the beginning of the project, each student chose one object that represents their personal pandemic experience. During an intense creation process, these objects were digitized and transferred into a 3D model that can be explored in this collection. Every object is accompanied by a blog post, setting the object into the COVID-19 context, but also explains it wider, societal, and historical importance. Furthermore, each object belongs to one of five overarching themes, that were developed in collaboration with Marres, House for Contemporary Culture: documenting the period, escapism, health, nostalgia, and reconstructing reality. The themes show: Even though each object represents personal coping mechanisms, they are also similar and connected. Lastly, we want to invite the visitors to reflect upon their own COVID-19 experiences in order to see whether they can identify with the objects of this collection and to consider which objects they would have chosen.