Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Memory Machines

Recently I had a show at the Portland Art Center.  I installed a piece called Memory Machines that involved sound and a site-specific installation of a huge flock of Post-it note birds.  The idea behind it was based on the visual incarnation of the process of thought and a minds attempt to capture thoughts and memories. I "captured" all of my thoughts on Post-it notes for over a year and a half.  The notes were then stuck together to form little yellow birds, 2,000 of which were suspended from the ceiling with thin, straight wire. This "flock of thought" soared above three birdcages that represented the three areas of the brain (fore, mid and hindbrain) and their functions.  My voice streamed out of small speakers sitting in the cages, each one reciting different bits of information found on the notes floating overhead.

For opening night, the installation also had a kinetic component. I had five Post-it note birds moving up and down on rods that came up through the surface of a table (and were driven by a motor and pulleys below). Each bird's movement (speed and altitude) correlated to one of the five brainwaves that occur in our brains when we're thinking, sleeping, dreaming, etc. Unfortunately (and ironically), the sculpture started smoking and self-destructed in just a few hours, and the gallery asked me to remove it.

The show was reviewed on a blog called ultrapdx, which you can read here.

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