Field Repair

A worn Field Notes book. For those asking: this is the grey & silver book from the J. Crew Edition 3-pack.

There are few things I always have on my person when I leave the house, one of those things is a Field Notes memo book. If you don't already know, Field Notes are simple little books that one can discretely carry and use to capture an idea or remember something for later. Jotting down a note on one is still faster than using my iPhone and is far more flexible for the sketches and notes I take on the go.

Anyways, I found this little guy in need of some repair after a few walking-filled days in the back pocket of some new jeans. With the binding worn and the color shaded by the dye in my jeans' pocket, I grabbed some packing tape and got it back to working order. This particular book was only half finished and there's no sense in ditching it cause it's got a few bumps and scrapes. Not to mention, the "patina" of sorts that a Field Notes book gets from use is a story in itself. Looking back at my old Field Notes from college, I can remember the late night design crunch that caused the ring of coffee on one, or the plane flight that caused the awesome exploded ink stain on the other. Few things in life these days age gracefully, or are allowed to retain their wear. But that wear is a reminder of time passing and effort expended, something you don't necessarily get or want on things like an iPhone.

This gets to a point of curiosity for me as everything moves digitally. Field Notes over time are impermanent, they can fall apart and require repair or safe storage. A file on a hard drive doesn't necessarily have context or visible wear, and if you lose that context is there some value lost as well? Obviously, we don't want txt files that degrade over time, but is there a way to re-introduce that intuitive context of history in the digital world? I guess that, like most things, time will tell.

Posted on November 12, 2012 .