Digital possessions in the museum of broken relationships

Herron, Daniel and Moncur, Wendy and Curić, Marija and Grubišić, Dražen and Vištica, Olinka and Hoven, Elise van den; (2018) Digital possessions in the museum of broken relationships. In: CHI EA '18. ACM, CAN. ISBN 9781450356213 (

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This paper describes an interactive demo of our collaborative research activity with the Museum of Broken Relationships, one of Lonely Planet's 'Fifty Museums to Blow Your Mind'. In collaboration with the Museum, we are currently collecting data worldwide and cross-culturally on the digital possessions individuals associate with their romantic break up, combined with the stories behind those possessions. Taking a methodologically innovative approach, we adapt the Museum's existing practices to conduct research (triangulating existing small-scale interview data) whilst simultaneously generating a new collection for the Museum. In doing so, we foreground contemporary HCI questions of ownership, curation, and presentation of self after a romantic breakup to the public. The demo will exhibit the digital possessions and associated stories that we collect, whilst also giving the CHI community the opportunity to contribute to the collection in real-time at the conference, by sharing digital possessions and stories of their own romantic breakups.