Another Life by University of the Arts London

Another Life is an interactive installation designed to help young people rewrite their lives.

Antithetical to digital interfaces where errors can be erased, the physical interface here — a single scroll of paper — must be used irreversibly through the hefty keys of a typewriter. A set of textual instructions which can be read by physically scrolling through the paper guides the user through a reflection on their relationship with their life, questioning if they are living the way they truly desire.

As users write, the paper — initially warmed by a heating plate hidden beneath the surface — emerges into cold air and a layer of overprinted thermochromic ink opacifies, obscuring their words and symbolising our universal time limitations as beings with a finite lifespan.

Simultaneously, the ink reveals a data archive printed in the negative of hypothetical regrets collected from people asked to consider the possibility of dying today. These regrets, which encompass thoughts surrounding unrealised professional aspirations, relationships with loved ones and the desire for adventure, put on display how differently human beings prioritise when taken outside the confines of societal expectation.

In inscribing a message about the future with a typewriter, users create something new with the old — a hopeful message about the possibility of change so long as we are alive.