Dear You,

  • October 2012
       Memory is the process of encoding, storage, and retrieval in the human mind of past experiences. Encoding allows information to reach our senses in forms of chemical and physical stimuli. Information is received and processed so it may be stored in a permanent record. When we wish to recall this memory, it is located and returned to our consciousness. However, as time passes, the physiological bases of memory tend to change. The memory trace in the brain gradually decays and loses clarity; the way water dissolves and disintegrates. With memory diminishing, nostalgia grows. Nostalgia maintains physiological comfort. Nostalgia is conceptualized as a process that instills a sense of social connection. After an individual experiences the state of nostalgia, they're need to be accepted is satisfied and their social connection is reinforced. The benefits of these connections are evoked and loneliness diminishes.
       I explored the process of remembering a particular event when I was a child. I used sounds of home videos to provoke a memory combined with current imagery to express it. The sound repeats itself over and over again, they way we attempt recall a long term past memory but only come out with bits and pieces that wrap themselves around each other. The imagery is a single steady flow that represents short-term memory and how it is never ending, eventually building up to long term memory that breaks down. The silhouette of viewers walking up to the projection represents the forms in memory that you can't quite remember. Together they represent what we go through every day, the combination and struggle of interpreting the past and present. The written text dissolving in the glass urn further represents the combination of the past and present, and our interpretation of memory and nostalgia. The letters are and written by myself and directed to myself as a child from whom I was in the sound of the projection. This is my experimentation at changing negative memories into positive ones; the way nostalgia evokes the feeling of loneliness. In these letters, I continue to tell myself that the negative memories are okay. However, the present water alters the text and changes it furthermore, expressing that my experimentation is impossible. The memories stay as they are because of the way they are originally encoded; it is our flaw at retrieving them over a long period. The memories disband and the text slowly melts off and sits in the bottom of the urn like ashes.