Fahy, Su (Auckland University of Technology, 2016-06-29)
How does a whole society or nation remember or forget the age of analogue film photography and its methods of documenting memory and identity? Inspired by procedures such as the sixteenth-century artificial memory systems presented in the writings of Frances Yates, I examine in my research the workings and subversions of memory through appropriation and reworking of fragments from the analogue photographic archive. The material photographic print reminds us of fugitive memories of family, events, wars, propaganda, the role of witness and visual testimony. I construct new artificial memories from the gleanings of the flea market, second hand shops, the attic, the shoebox, and archival researches. The objects I encounter offer a haptic visual prompt for new works that pose questions of memory and artificial memory, and identity within the visual ecology of a fast-eroding analogue tradition. I present case studies that demonstrate the intimate scale and fragility of such photographic scraps, showing my re-working of found objects to create small visual series accompanied by narrative encounters with each of the photographs. In the process, I also indicate the unique contribution of studio culture in this complex tentative multisensory interrogation.
The author describes the manipulation of time and memory in LOOP, a tape-based sound installation started in 2004. Many of my artworks are hybrid assemblages of obsolete and contemporary technology. The use of the obsolete is most immediately apparent in LOOP, a long-running (2004-present) sound installation built out of a Fostex X-34 four track recorder and C90 cassette tape. The Fostex X-34 is in many ways unexceptional: its sound and build quality are adequate at best. Indeed, most notable is perhaps that, by the time of its release in April 2000, it was arguably already rendered obsolete by the rise of MiniDisc recorders and audio-capable home computers. Nevertheless, the X-34 fitted the modest budget of a Birmingham schoolboy, and I acquired a lightly used and moderately discounted ex-demo unit about three months after its launch. The accessibility of the cassette tape was also key: while its popularity had significantly diminished after its late 1980s peak, blank tapes remained readily locally available.
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