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The B-Side

illustration of a cardboard box with the lid propped up against the side and “The Time Capsule B-Side” sharpied on it. Inside the box is a car radio, a pair of running shoes, a camera, a photo of Shawn and Gus from “Psych,” and a CD with “theme songs” written on it
Sara Fang

They say that our interpretations of art are shaped by our experiences. As someone whose identity has been formed by countless pieces of art and who spends what is probably an unhealthy amount of time reflecting on her past, I know this statement to be true. The media that I’ve consumed over the years has been tainted in some way, good or bad, by the memories and people I’ve known. I make playlists for the people I love, full of songs that remind me of them. In contrast, several films are hard for me to rewatch because I associate them with times of pain or heartbreak. The relationship between art and memory, between experience and interpretation, is fascinating. What lies underneath the surface of a favorite piece of media? Can a book or a song be saved from the negative memories it’s become linked to in our minds? Is there any value to making these connections in the first place? These are the kinds of questions that the Time Capsule B-Side seeks to answer.

A time capsule serves several purposes. It allows the contributors to live on after they’ve passed; it allows whoever finds it to learn more about the times that came before. It’s something that physically represents this intricate connection between the objects inside and the ways these objects influenced our lives. Perhaps its greatest objective is to be understood. What we seek cannot exist without vulnerability, and the writers of this B-Side have delivered on that front.

As Arts writers, we essentially create a time capsule of our own with every article we publish. We share pieces of ourselves and the things we love with the world, not knowing who will come across our work, when that encounter will occur or whether those who do will gain anything from what we have to say. But that uncertainty has never stopped us from pouring out our hearts week after week — that, I would argue, is one of the most beautiful things that art and writing have to offer.

Daily Arts Writer Hannah Carapellotti
Illustration of a camera from Bo Burnham's "Inside" with a thought bubble that shows a dual computer display monitor set-up; on the left screen is a picture of Bo Burnham from the end of “Inside” smiling grimly and on the right screen is a picture of Bo at a Phoebe Bridgers concert

Reflecting and recontextualizing, nearly two years after Bo Burnham’s “Inside”

Saarthak Johri
Digital illustration of the author with portraits of her family in thought bubbles with art-related symbols such as film reel, books, music notes, and a paint palette.

Memories and media: Remembering loved ones through art

Sabriya Imami
Digital art illustration of a pair of running shoes. A thought bubble coming from the left shoe shows a black and white illustration of a person running on a treadmill, surrounded by music notes. A thought bubble coming from the right shoe shows a colorful illustration of the same person running outside, surrounded by multicolored music notes.

Treadmill song reclamation

Erin Evans
Digital art illustration of a CD labeled “theme songs.” A thought bubble comes out of the CD. Inside the bubble are two people dancing with cartoon characters including the Little Einsteins, Patrick from SpongeBob, and Goku from Dragon Ball Z

Stuck on replay: How theme songs stay with us

Adaeze Uzoije
Illustration of a photo of Shawn and Gus from "Psych" and a thought bubble that shows a group of friends.

'Psych' stands the test of time

Lillian Pearce
Illustration of a phone displaying a notes apology Instagram post with a thought bubble showing someone on their phone at 4 am.

Our finstas, our selves

Amina Cattaui
Digital art illustration of a car radio with a thought bubble coming out. Inside the thought bubble is an illustration of a father and a child holding hands.

Why disco is my sixth love language

Max Newman