Remembering to remember: a practice-based study in digital re-appropriation and bodily perception

Chevalier, Cécile (2016) Remembering to remember: a practice-based study in digital re-appropriation and bodily perception. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Through the evolution of digital media technology, social networks and more recently Web 3.0 (e.g. Cloud-based) technologies, culture and memory is being transformed, both in relation to how memories are represented, and how they may be engaged with or re-accessed.

As digital technology alters ways in which knowledge is produced, stored, connected and shared, new terrains, tools and artefacts are formed; new cultural practices alter the ways in which we remember and the ways in which memory is processed, destabilising traditional “historically encoded social habits: religion, authority, morality, traditional values, or political ideology” (Diamantaki 2013).

This doctoral project consists of two parts exploring questions of memory in contemporary time.
The practice work submitted develops various imaginaries and investigates how to enable mnemonic practices so that works function as memory palaces where bodies and ‘collective’ and ‘networked memories’ (Hoskins, 2010) can be realised.

The work, briefly summarised, includes communal activities in public spaces (a series of workshops and heritage day events, Rendezvous, centrally social activities organised between Fabrica and various charitable organisations in Brighton). It includes a series of installation works, as a transitional process of memory between body, object, an investigation of ubiquitous technology, are investigated – iremembr (2009-15); Rendezvous (2010-15); Untitled#21 (2012). And it leads to the development of an installation piece, (2013-15), that seeks to offer or extend the possibilities of the act of remembering, of memory, as a post-Internet experience; a complex temporal, social, spatial and material, overlapping and merging human and silicon memory.

In this, the written component of the combined and larger project, questions concerning memory and digital technology, and how to explore them, are taken up in theoretical terms, and the works I have produced returned to and explored in these contexts. A central project here has been to locate new forms of qualities of ‘digital’ memory in a memory map or topology that builds on adapts, and develops other models. Aspects of zones of memory are explored centrally in each of the later thesis chapters each of which also takes up a particular aspect of my practice.

The intention – and the contribution to the development of critical thinking around the digital – particularly critical thinking that comes through digital media art practice, is to question how digital technology intervenes in the process of memory; how the concept of digital memory is being thought about; leading me to investigate what does this new digital terrain do as it overlaps and re-writes to some extent the older ones? How does it change ‘how memory happens’.

Co-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the University of Sussex

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0831 Social change > HM0836 Causes > HM0846 Technological innovations. Technology > HM0851 Information technology. Information society. Including the Internet as an instrument of social change, and including the digital divide
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 10:28
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:49

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