Collective Memories - Mixed Media Assemblage - 30”X36” - 131 Dates of Special Memories from 113 participants Estimated - 1195 corks
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Often times we celebrate special occasions marked by the uncorking of a fine wine or favorite bubbly.
This group of mostly, unrelated participants, shared special dates that bring moving memories. All of us now share the memory/a common thread of having participated in this project and dates are all literally embedded in this piece.
By means of assemblage, I strive to interpret several aspects about memory: memory lapses, feeling trapped in memories, filtering them, knowing you have memories but can’t remember them, learning from memories, understanding that life is just a memory waiting to happen on every instant, & emotions and sensations on all levels.
Memories that are shared between a group hold an unbreakable common thread forever, memories fade, our joys, our secrets and our not so joyful moments are stored in memory, It seems to me that memories define us because we live to experience life and continuously make memories.
The subject of memory interests me. I like to read and interpret different views, which I agree with or often question, and I try to wrestle through things by means of artistic expression. Sometimes I arrive at an answer and often times I just arrive at “a place” with more questions.
“With this work I am hoping to inspire dialog about where our memories are stored and how we are each defined by them. I ask each participant and viewer: Do we tune-in to a collective memory or do our individual minds store our memories? Do we define ourselves buy our past memories? If we truly live in the present does that mean we abandon our memories, hence abandoning our true definition of self?“ Readings from Carl Jung & Dr. Rupert Sheldrake helped inspire this piece. Carl Jung promotes a holistic world view. His most famous theory is that of the collective unconscious, a shared memory of symbols, imagery, and memories that he called archetypes and are innate to all of us.
Jung made the comparison of a cork gently bobbing on a vast ocean. The cork is our conscious mind, and the ocean is the unconscious. The cork is tossed about at the whim of the cruel sea unless we get a handle of the nature of the true Self (of which he suggests we are only dimly aware, if at all.) In the same vein, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake says: “The collective unconscious only makes sense in the context of some notion of collective memory. When, I think of particular events, I am tuning into the occasions on which these events happened. All of us have been brought up on the idea that memories are stored in the brain; we use the word brain interchangeably with mind or memory. I am suggesting that the brain is more like a tuning system than a memory storage device. One of the main arguments for the localization of memory in the brain is the fact that certain kinds of brain damage can lead to loss of memory. If the brain is damaged in a car accident and someone loses memory, then the obvious assumption is that memory tissue must have been destroyed. But this is not necessarily so.”