This is my old mouse pad. I built it myself and it served me well for many years. It is made of canvas, cardboard and corrugated paper. It used to have silicone feet, but they have disappeared long ago. Last autumn it got really wet and took days to dry, so I won’t use it anymore.

Notice the roundish areas. This is where my thumb, my little finger and my carpal bone touched the pad’s surface while controlling three generations of a Microsoft Intellimouse Optical. I wonder if everyone has the same hand posture and if patterns vary depending on different kinds of computer use. I wonder if people can find beauty in these patterns. I also wonder if future generations will recognise a mouse pad at all.

I believe that this pad carries a memory. Over the years, myriads of dust and grease molecules, microbes and dead skin fragments have formed a living archive, a biosphere of traces. Large parts of my biography are virtually written into my pad. It tells the story of my high school and university education, of chatroom dramas and digital battles, and of the many people who came and went. It tells my story.

What is your pad’s story and how does it look like?

Send me your used pad and a little information about it (500 characters max.): What did you do with it? Where did you get it from? You might also want to grab your parents’ pads and buy them new ones. I shall organise an exhibition in Germany as soon as enough beautiful pieces have found their way into my letter box. Artsy writings will be prepared.

Please send me an e-mail (subject: “Mousepad”) to receive my postal address, and feel free to share this page with your friends. Any help is appreciated.