[description] Memory Drifts

“Memory Drifts”

– A Reflective performance –

“Memory Drifts” presents an interactive installation in which the participant develops their perceptions, visualization, and auditory experiences through their physical/spatial movements. This project attempts to encourage and/or control the participant’s interaction through the speed of their perception.

The Audience sees the projected image of the contextual moment at the recalling of the memory and hears those collected narratives of different memories. The audience’s presence or movement affects the re-mixing scene of reflected images of (visual) memories. The immediate or simultaneous shifting images may accelerate or control the audience’s performance/interactions.

Various narrative memories are played back simultaneously like random noises drifting on the air while the reflected projected image shows only a part of them, a fragment of a space that may have once, for a brief moment, have contextualized the release of the particular memory well. These ‘visual memories’ are reflected in the wish well installed in the installation space.

These visual contexts and auditory memories are collected from various anonymous persons; I have asked them for an important memory, without any other direction. After the overall scope of the project was decided, I worked on the interface while struggling with the memory content. Because of the private and personal characteristics of people’s memories, it required considerable effort to draw out these revealing and guarded narratives. Lastly, I sought for a representational medium (the ‘wish well’) relevant to the content.

I have titled this site specific installation of the ‘wish well’ as opposed to the more common ‘wishing well’ for its curious ‘objecthood of containment’. This experience is not only about our personal wish-desire, but also it is about our perception of ourselves through others memories, of us, of others. The well contains wishes (memories) and we are invited to pull out from that well our own narratives, but at the same time are restricted from entering the well-spring of those others; we can only start from what we are given. Memory is the well of our wishes; we wish for what we remember.

The concept of speed is one of important components for understanding the world. I want to offer an experience in which the participant may perceive accelerating or decelerating (remixed) time and is thus situated in the awareness of their own relativity; and for this matter, memory, as non-linear narrative in time and space, was interesting to me as an artist. Memory is neither the real nor reality (what actually happened); but memory may be both the real and reality (what happened for the perceiver, a self-defining reduction of reality). The wish well is inspired by a Korean traditional children’s game (with its song) about calling a toad to wish good luck and chanting the toad’s memory. The ‘wish well’ is the reflection of memory (1). Water is a metaphor for birth and death in both the east and west, and contained water, such as ‘wishing well’, functions as a transport (interface) of people’s wishes. I use sand instead of water in the ‘wish well’ because sand is the memory of water; sand as the memory of natural circulation.




Every age constructs as an utopian image, a nostalgic rear-view image of itself, which puts it thoroughly out of touch with the present by Marshall McLuhan. From Norman Mailer and Marshall McLuhan debating on CBC TV, 1968
2  Reference to Bodies in Code: Interfaces with Digital Media by Mark B. N. Hansen. New York, London: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2006

About Suk Kyoung Choi

artist / researcher

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