Audible Memories (2006)
Video monitor, microphone, a/v prompt and recording system
Audible Memories examines the complexities of aural memory. The installation, consisting of a prominently placed microphone and a video monitor, prompts people to confide something audible. In addition to a single line of text (cuing the curious visitor to speak) the monitor displays the image of a glass jar. Words spoken into the microphone trigger the video, and the jar slowly begins to fill, symbolically collecting and containing various stories, remembrances, or observations. The audio samples are digitally recorded, playing the real--fixed digital technology--against the nostalgic acts of preserving otherwise ephemeral moments.
The final component of Audible Memories is a musical performance that remembers and recontextualizes what was spoken at the installation site. When placed amidst diverse musical material, one that may include toy piano melodies and electronic beats, tin cup articulations and ambient noise outbursts, the recorded samples assume another meaning. As musical motifs, the selected sound bytes suggest how memory transforms the exact and precise into something much more figurative and imaginative. The performance pays distant homage to the style and form of musique concrète as well as the Surrealist game of exquisite corpse, yielding delightfully mercurial arrangements of discrete known elements.