2. ii) What observations were made during preparing and working on recorded material?

April 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm (Artists Statement & Reflection, Main Derives)

As I began working with my sound material I became interested in how audition would allow me to revisit a previous space and moment in time I had experienced within my minds eye. Often the sound would trigger quite clear and detailed images, akin to the experience of recalling a vivid dream upon awakening. One slight problem is that I am now finding it somewhat difficult to separate my minds eye from that space and position myself as a listener who hasn’t experienced those spaces. That’s why the group critique was so useful the other day!

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I watched a Horizons documentary on memory the other day. I was interested to find out that we use exactly the same part of our brain when remembering as we do imagining. Whilst making evolutionary sense (i.e. better equipped for survival through learning), what fascinated me were the implications. If memory and imagination is initiated by the same part of the brain, does this mean we actively construct memories rather than simply recalling things ‘as they were’? Apparently so – if I recall correctly. When we experience something the nerves in our brains connect, effectively recording experience, but of course these connections die out with time, if not re-stimulated or revisited. Our memory is essentially fragmented; we remember the key things that happened, and piece together the rest. Old details disappear, and perhaps new ones are created.

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I want to look in to how sound exactly relates to memory, and in turn how these relate to space and our identity. Sound can make us revisit certain points in times in our lives, certain places, acting as a catalyst to relive those moments. Past experiences and feelings can leap forth from the depths of our mind and be experienced once more, sometimes regardless of whether we want to remember them or not. I’m fascinated by how spaces we’ve experienced in our conscious lives translate within our subconscious, in our dreams, our imagination. Dreamt of spaces carry with them a rich, individual symbolism. Within my dreams I experience familiar spaces, slightly mutated, but still recognizable. Often these are places I’ve lived and worked in, imbued with identity through my experience of them. Other times dreamt of spaces appear to be constructed from fragments of places experienced; vaguely familiar territory but entirely free-form, a stream of consciousness that seamlessly weaves together and ‘works’ for us in the most imaginative way, despite irrationality and randomness.

Researching and learning about the above (from a theoretical/scientific point of view) in as much detail as my mind desires, is perhaps beyond the scope of this project. So, I will gather what I can and rely on my own observations as I remember and imagine.

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As I’ve typed these reflections, I’ve been listening to a random selection of my recordings. It’s interesting that whilst certain sounds will trigger particular spaces quite clearly, most of the voices of people I’ve recorded stimulate grey, nondescript faces. They appear ghost-like, a trace that’s fading from my memory, whilst the space remains, or rather, whilst I can still piece it together…. To my disappointment I’m yet to dream of any spaces experienced during my journeys. I wish my subconscious would be a bit more helpful with my research!

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