We think of memory as our own personal history, like a ﬁlm reel of our experiences that we can wind back and examine parts of. But memory is only rarely like that, usually itʼs a network of fragmented past perceptions, brieﬂy drawn to the surface when triggered by reminders. Even when we do experience memories as complete scenes from the past they are not presented as an exact copy of the original experience, but rather as guesses at the past reconstructed from our atomized perceptions.
My piece tries to render a memory as in the understanding described. The television is a window into a cluster of associations. Like a tv thatʼs misbehaving, the picture presents hints into some stream of information which is surely has a story to tell, but not enough to understand it. Fragmented images ﬂash to the foreground sometimes as part of a complete image, sometimes intermixed and sometimes as lone pieces, meaningless without context. The viewer can adjust the antenna to excite behavior in the image, but the system itself determines what is seen, for how vividly and for how long, leaving a viewer unsure if she can ever explore the entire memory space hidden below the surface.
The visual experience of the piece supports the intuition that these fragments are
connected even if it is not obvious how. Images ﬂash into view in waves, one fragment pushing the next into existence, sometimes jumping from one scene to another. Once in view, images hang there, ﬂickering for a few moments before being overtaken by darkness once again. Images and unique combinations are ﬂeeting, and canʼt be returned to in any controlled way. The viewer is looking in on this space, not controlling it. Another element which deﬁnes the visuals is the fact that they are produced by a camera pointed at the display actually generating the images. This also adds a layer of displacement between the images and the viewer.
The viewer hears more static as the piece reverts to blackness, and the instance of silence as images ﬂash to the screen. This magniﬁes the impression that the ﬂashing of an image onto the screen is a moment of clarity punched out of a murky environment. Because of the silence comes on instantly, the speakers clip, giving a pop every time an image appears on screen. Reminiscent of ﬁreworks or thunder as images ripple across the screen in quick succession, this audio cue helps create the impression that these fragments are being activated, or released, much like ﬂeeting recollections which seem to force themselves into our consciousness when the right reminder is present.
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