We live in a high resolution world and strive to make the image of entities clearer; the real impression, however, stays shattered in our minds. In memory, we grasp the silhouette and feeling, and let the details elude and fade.
"The Inner” is an immersive stereoscopic environment built in Allosphere, California NanoSystems Institute. It is about the persistence of people’s memories--storage of memories, general process of oblivion, visualization of memories, as well as the interaction with memories.
Exhibited in MAT End of Year Show 2016
The idea for this AlloSphere project emerges from the story of an anterograde amnesia patient, K.C. Anterograde amnesia is a condition in which a person cannot hold new memories for long, eventually forgetting everything new that happens in their life. After watching a strongly depressing interview series of K.C. doing a memorization test, I started to construct a piece of work about the persistence of people’s memories— the storage of memories, the general process of oblivion, the visualization of memories, as well as the interaction with memories.
My work is analogous to the low-resolution work of Jim Campbell, who is famous for his sculptural LED light installations. We live in a high-resolution world and strive to make the image of entities clearer; the real impression, however, stays shattered in our minds. In memory, we grasp the silhouette and feel and let the details elude us and fade.
My work conveys the idea of memory through the dynamics of image fragments. When an image breaks into fragments, some part of the information is lost. The resolution further degrades when some of the fragments plummet and leave behind blank spaces. Compared to high-quality photo albums, the feeling of fragmented images more closely envisions the notion of memory.
Moreover, I deem memory an inner creature. Therefore, in my work, aliveness is communicated via a beating motion resembling that of the heart. The creature gradually dies as the pieces drop. Additionally, when a viewer goes through the imaging tunnel, they can interact with the images by pressing a key. This process aims to visualize the recollection of memory. When the audience interacts with the broken pieces that are left, they may be reconstructed to appear clearer, yet the images will be different from what they were before. This serves as a metaphor for remembrance.
The framework for this project is left open for further possibilities as it can be filled with various components. In the current iteration, the images are all related to my own life, in the manner of a personal memory gallery. However, it might be more interesting if the audience can upload their own images. In this way, it could become the personal memory of one audience member or the collective memory of a group of people. Thus, the work is a way of reminiscing in the ceremony by standing there in the long hallway of this inner world, gazing and participating in the breaking and reconstruction of memories.
Special thanks to Weihao Qiu for his generous help.
// The program is written in C++ code using AlloSystem with Cuttlebone.
201B Computing with Media Data / Karl Yerkes