PERSONAL STATEMENT

Nine dreams, four different versions

Memory, fragmentation and the new media narrative

Three years ago, while traveling through France taking photographs, I began questioning my process of photography and the reasons behind my attraction to certain images and compositions. Eventually, a backstory grew from it in order to inspire more images- that of a photographer who was undertaking a journey in search of a muse, who's been buried but speaks through dreams.

When photographing images as diary entries and dream keys, each image I was attracted to held an indecipherable mystery or code. What causes attraction? A lonely bike tucked away in a forgotten alley, a child's doll, sitting with closed eyes, in a barred store window… My obsession with taking photographs and recording memory in the pursuit of memory grew. Each image sought tangibility and held a clue to an ever-growing story of a lost narrative and a forgotten identity.

Origin and otherness

What do I mean by 'origin'? Coming from a dance background, there's a belief that 'origin' is the corporeal body. Thus, original memory isn't housed in the brain but in fact, the body, it's muscles, senses and cells. Thus, how can true memory exist without the body? Anything 'other' is a simulacrum, a xerox copy and alias. Today, we live through a wired network of electronics, high-speed internet, e-mail, computer FX, gaming and cellphone technology; our physical realities are easily substituted for virtual ones, through gaming avatars, username and login handles, etc...Will technology estrange us from our original identity to the point a virtual presence will replace our physical reality?

Why a Listening Pillow?

The Listening Pillow is one evolution of this process and narrative. The subcontext is that a pillow has listened to sleeper's dreams and thus, now has access to its dreamlife and memory. Fascinated with the language of the subconscious and technology's use of aliases, this piece procures an origin ( a database of video memories housed in a computer CPU) for a mythic identity (a "Sleeper") and its estrangement (the Sleeper's live body). The installation simulates the process of dreaming; while the interactive interface creates non-linear narratives through the audience/participant's choices. Thus, it is the audience/a third party (and a corporeal body), which bridges the Sleeper to its dreams. It's my hope this piece raises issues of identity vs. presence, memory and "Other-ness".

In the greater context of the technological body or what I call, the “where-body” (“where is my body”), this work seeks to address the issue of dis-embodiment in a technological culture. While the digital realm claims to hold a raised consciousness on a mental/intuitive level, there is a diminishing awareness of our identitites as a being corporeal or real. Instead, we recreate them through gaming avatars, online username handles, etc...

Should technology grow to the point of overuse/misuse, we are all in threat of becoming disembodied “sleepers”, whose identity/real body is lost or hidden within a virtual system.