Pataphysical Machine of Memories

  • Congress Cultural Analysis Theory & History, Leeds

Henri Bergson, reflecting on memory, imagines two spools with a tape running between them: one spool unwinding the tape, the other winding it up. As we grow older, our future grows smaller and our past larger and we live a continuity of experiences which causes every moment in us to be unique. For Bergson, memory functions as the prolongation of the past into the present. This memory is always changing since every new moment is added to the past collection of moments.

I have built a pataphysical machine as a hermeneutical model of Bergson’s concept of memory. The machine folds and unfolds a deckchair, and automatically records the process by taking and developing an image on photographic paper. It consists of a series of objects that connect, disconnect and alter each other, decoding and recoding the mechanism. While the machine is operational, it extends and simultaneously records the use of architectural elements as automated sculpture, revealing the fluctuating epistemological conditions of a time based algorithm.

My research on memory concurs with this installation project, which I will present by showing slides and a short movie.