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Memory Loss

When I set out to explore memory loss, it was not meant in the sense of a medical condition or even that of the very human day to day slipping away of things you didn't think you would forget. Rather it was an exploration of what amnesia might be as an untragic experience. I started by carrying out the process as an exploration, to see what would happen. The experience was distinctly uncanny and deeply personal, so I concluded that the best course of action was to try and make this experience available to others. I shall talk first of the piece, and then of my own experience. 

The piece its self is this text. I think this is curious because the text is not intended to be the art object, but rather the experience of following the instructions. Aside from this quirk, the process requires quite an investment of time and energy on the part of the audience. On the other hand it is free and can be carried out by anyone, anywhere, so I suppose its accessibility is the inverse of most art, because here you need no money but lots of free time in order to participate. I would heartily recommend trying this out, as it is unlike anything else i have experienced. 

I will now offer my own experience of this process. Mine was experimental, and may well be quite different from somebody else's. I tried a few different things, including arranging to wake up in an unfamiliar room. I settled on this as the most distilled rule set. The first thing which struck me was the strangeness of writing the instructions. My mind disagreed with the experience: like writing a will to myself, it broke logic in the strangest of ways. Then the experience its self. It felt like living a lie; not what i expected. Cutting off everything of myself and engaging with people through a heavy filter was deeply lonely, so much so that I offered a warning against it. This is more to do with the mechanism of the process than the notion of memory loss. You become like a child to people. This is of course risky in terms of people understanding what you are doing, and has potential to cause trouble. I left myself instructions to attend the art school and most of the people there knew what I was doing. Perhaps if one was to wear a t-shirt...

The next steps for this project will be to try and find people to carry this out and provide feedback, with which I might inform a second edition or expanded set of rules.