Metaphorically, the message bottle and the USB device are functionally similar since they both protect precious data from outside factors. As a result of merging both objects—creating a whole new object—their purposes are strengthened and with our “human propensity to create meaning” from every object, we begin to realise the greater qualities of these objects past their original purposes. Another similarity is that both a USB and a glass bottle are not 100% secure since one is prone to corruption and the other, shattering which would result in the damaging or loss of it’s contents. Furthermore, the motion of plugging in a USB and plugging a cork into a glass bottle are similar as well. Thus Sakata’s Blank is a treasured simple yet thought-provoking object where the old and the new are merged together as one, connected by their functions.
On a similar note, the Brick Lamp by HCWD Studio combines a slab of cast concrete, wood or aluminium with light to emphasise the short-lived but special moment of revealing and concealing light. Poetic qualities of light are highlighted by the combination of the brick and light, just like how Blank merges the bottle and USB device in one, accentuating the idea of safe keeping and treasuring.
It is said that Blank acts as “a message in a bottle in the digital era” and can be used to store messages—2GB of messages to be exact. Being a literal “digital reincarnation of the romantic message-in-a-bottle”, it is interesting to imagine if such a bottle was found washed up on the shore. This comments greatly on how we value messages today, whether handwritten or digitally typed is the norm and whether one is more treasured than the other. The parody of a digital message that cannot be read unless there’s access to a computer also comments on our reliance on technology.