Selective Memory Theatre is a machine-like perception and memory installation, that thematises the desire to teach the non-forgetting digital memory to forget. It thereby covers the selectionistic nature of the individual mind, that marks the human sensing and remembering as the subjective and biased – but therefore human and functional – act that it is.
The installation consists of two projections, the perception and the memory layer. Both shell be explained in what follows.
The perception layer represents the sensory memory before any priorities have been chosen. It receives the newest images from flickr (flickr.com) which get distorted, mixed and blended to persuade some sort of sensory noise.
The memory layer is a metaphor for the short- and long-term memory. It is the place where existing memories can be activated by new perceptions and thus be called to mind.
The perception layer asks the memory layer for each new image if it is similar to allready existing memories. This happens based on the tags the flickr images are provided with. If a relevant image is found, it gets focused in the perception layer so that it stands out. At the same time the most similar memory gets activated inside the memory layer. Both images get into a dialogue representing the connection of the new perception and the old memory. Afterwards the newly sensed image gets saved inside the memory layer so that the criteria for newly sensed images is changed. This demonstrates the interrelation between perception and memory, which oblivion results from.
The actual applications run at 60fps so that the 30fps video does not capture the whole crazyness of the perception layer :)
Both projections run on different macs that communicate through a small Protocol I wrote ontop of TCP.