Memory Vice Versa, Chapter I: Cabinet Of Memories

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Collecting and creating order

Collecting is connection, boundary, meaning, definition in abstraction. It means organizing the unlimited unknown. An immemorial phenomenon, an indispensable characteristic of human kind conser ving its environment. With the help of organization the collector pursues the ancient myth of the world’s origins: the chaos as order within the universe develops into a comprehensible world with explainable systems: each thing and creature now has a place or could at least find it.

To create order also means to build logical and binding patterns for circumstances, connections and dependencies. The order of things replaces the chaos of objects. Organizing a col section is an act of creation and is therefore a deeply sincere process.
Living in a time where the strange and exotic seem to lose some appeal by being permanently available through pictures on the internet and technology itself, I started to become interested in exploring the invisible within my immediate surroundings: What is of such a high emotional value to be interesting enough to be collected but still individual enough to create tension within the collection? What are we all collecting – without even notizing? From my point of view the answer appears to be obvious: memories.

Chapter I
Cabinet Of Memories

Within this chapter, paper serves as visual mediator, as it is very complex and sensual, and also used to collect and to organize. People have used paper as emotional ambassador for centuries. Aim of the first chapter of this project is the visualization of memories by using paper as basic material. A visual and haptic dialogue between narrator and beholder. With help of a questionnaire I asked completely different people within my surroundings to document one of their memories. Each memory has a title. The narrator doesn’t have to for low any rules, he is free to tell his story his preferred way. To be able to visualize the memory of another person with suitable material, I defined a modular system, including certain creative parameters: After writing down the chosen memory, the narrator is asked to relate the components color, form and surface feel to his written memory. By using this method, each memory is provided with an individual construct of different forms and colors. To create a link between text and its visualization, I marked important key words within the story, which serve as coordinates for the forms used to built up the collages. The longer the text the more forms are needed to create a final collage of a memory.
The visualization is followed by organization. As the visualized col lages form a strange appearance of forms and colors, I was reminded of a “Cabinet Of Wonders”, a concept of private collections which arose between the 15th and 18th century in Europe. They have been the precursor of contemporary museums, which displayed objects of different origin and determination in a collective way. There exist five different classes the object could be classified in.
Asking the narrator not only for forms and colors, but even for another parameter, a trigger object, allows me to finally start organizing. I am now transferring the chamber’s system of classification onto my own col section and classify it by relating the trigger object of each memory to a specific class.