In anticipation of the arrival of Traces on October 1, artistic engagement manager Kevin Becerra takes a moment to consider the legacies we leave behind.
If you disappeared tomorrow, what traces would you leave behind? Whether it’s your impact on loved ones, your children, or your accomplishments in your career—your legacy is created by a complex combination of your decisions and actions while on Earth. It’s an interesting thought. But what about the legacy you unknowingly leave behind? What evidence of your existence could rise from the depths of the past and create a different narrative of your life?
How often do you google yourself? I personally am not a huge fan of it. I find of a lot of the results that come up for my name to be a series of previous employers or a parade of other Latino men whose parents had some affinity for Irish first names. I was feeling quite confident that my online traces were exactly what I expected them to be—the worst of it being years of documentation of an unfortunate haircut safely hidden behind the “friends only” setting on Facebook. My sense of security shattered when the little voice of memory in the back of my brain whispered the name of my first online obsession. My Livejournal.
For those of you who missed the Livejournal craze—it was essentially a blog-based social media site where users would write blurbs about their daily lives. Then the user would read through their friends’ posts, much like a Facebook newsfeed without photos, videos, or Buzzfeed articles. I got mine at the mature and levelheaded age of fourteen—and for the next three years I poured my teenage soul into it for the enjoyment of my friends. Much to my chagrin, my Livejournal is alive and well in the dark corners of the internet. Exhibit A:
There’s so much going on here. The questionable colors. The questionable spacing. The unquestionable avatar of Gary Beach in the 2005 revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Go ahead and also note that it was posted at 7:14 am—one of the many posts updated on the computer in the kitchen before I left the house for school. It’s a lot to handle and a lot to own up to. This collection of insights and egregious typos is one of my traces—for better or worse. While I find it completely mortifying, it’s a part of me and who am I to deny the joy of a newly 15 year-old me?
Take this opportunity to think back through your online presence and share you traces with us! We’re all friends here! What traces of you exist on the internet that you would want to erase or memorialize? The cast of Traces will risk everything as they share their death-defying acrobatics for the sake of us, their audience. What will you risk leaving behind on this blog? We can’t wait to see.