Artifacts for Those Who Remain is a collaborative mindfulness project where I provide a mysterious item, the[Artifact], and you - its new keeper - give it purpose, using its shape, materials, symbols, your own experience, and a little guidance.

There are several layers of inspiration behind the idea for this project but the short version is: all the little trinkets, odds, ends, buttons, coins, game pieces, tokens, and markers that humans create in their lives which lose their purpose when they are lost, or left behind by their creators. These items are later discovered without context by others who give new meaning and life to them as object of mystery.

These objects of mystery exist but are often problematic/difficult to obtain, find, or keep due (rightly) to heritage and historical preservation laws. As a creator and a story teller who is in the business of making mysterious items I am stepping in to serve the role of the unknowable those-who came-before, and you as contributor become the finder of these objects as one-who-remains.

The [Artifact] itself is a relatively simple item, a rectangular prism with four active faces and two neutral faces. The active faces hold glyphs I've designed, drawn from personal and historical knowledge of esoteric symbols. The simplest artifact has the same symbol on all four faces but at different positions (ascending, rest, descending) and orientations (epitome and inversion). There are options for increasing complexity with two symbols represented across the faces or each face having its own symbol. Artifacts range from 1.5" - 2" long and 0.5" - 0.75" around.

The Game/Mindfulness/Ritual aspect comes from how you use and/or read the object. On its own the [Artifact] is pleasant to the touch; wood has a grounding effect for many people when touched, smelled, or gazed upon. If that is all you need, that can be it! An object of beauty you can carry with you and experience as you need or to keep somewhere special. With its symbols it can be read. After casting it like a dice or flipping it through the air like a coin, its symbols, their placement, and its orientation can then be interpreted in ways meaningful to you. If that all sounds rather vague, its because this is a collaboration. I will help and give examples and suggestions, but what your artifact grows to become is up to you.

Have you ever picked up something from the ground just because you found it interesting? A stone with a curious blue hue. A stick with knots that look like dots. A lump of metal, heavy and worn. Perhaps you found some forged nails at a quarry. An old coin or button. Have you ever assigned value to these things? When you hold the smooth stone in your pocket and run your fingers over its surface it feels cool and you feel calm when you were stressed or anxious. The old coin you found gives you luck and you keep it in a little box of important treasures. The button reminds you of a grandparent and it brings back memories of them.

These objects which once lost or lacked a purpose suddenly have one given to them by you. Without realizing it you've built a small ritual around it, a spell that takes you anxious to calm, that conjurers a memory, that gives you confidence. There is no magic or supernatural beings involved just our human brain that likes games, patterns, and meaning.