A research and development performance involving motion capture sensor technology, the hanging body and live video projection. The piece explores the mechanics of memory as understood by neuroscience and investigates the relationship between brain and body in the mnemonic process. Memory Release aims to create an external nervous system showing the interactive potential between body, technology and video in a prototype performance which allows the live body to edit, in real time, an archive of footage through her movement.
Memory Release is an exploration of the interdependency between sensory visual memory traces and key energy centres in the physical body, corresponding to the 12 organs.
I am interested in those flashes of residual memories which appear and disappear seemingly randomly, indenting themselves in our present consciousness as ghosts of our past. These are not necessarily connected to a particular memorable event, trauma or even recognisable feeling. They are the result of an “instinctive or subliminal encoding”- where the “recording” of the situation happens due to an intense perception of both an inner state of being and the external environment the subject finds him/ herself in at a particular point in time.
In my case these charged image flashes tend to be spaces, locations, often though not always, placeable in my past. On the periphery of consciousness they are also just outside the boundaries of the safe, or the known: a few streets away from the childhood home or just outside music school. There is something definitely fragmentary, unfinished, puzzle-like in these traces.
As an anti-gravity artist I have spent the last ten years experimenting to push the boundaries of what the body in suspension is able to do. During these investigations one opens up areas of the body that were previously tightly held. At the point of opening one may feel the release of an experience, a memory, an emotion that had been housed in that area for years.
Memory Release aims to achieve, through an “external nervous system” (motion capture to computer, computer to projectors, projectors to screens) the so called mechanics of memory retrieval and release as partly described by Neuroscience and complemented by Eastern Medicine.
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The research outline above has been drafted as a series of reflections to give a feel of the creative process, research threads, content development and use of technology.
Papers on detailed research outputs and process methodologies have been presented at: Future Physical Bio-Tech and Responsive Environments (February , April 2003), essexdance (May 2003), Banff New Media Centre 'Beauty of Collaboration' symposium (May 2003), Bowling Green University - Ohio U.S (October 2003) and Brown University- U.S (October 2004).
Prototype performance and Q&A took place in April 2003 as part of the Future Physical/ Mesh 'Respond' conference in Cambridge, U.K.
Artist filmmaker: Isabel Rocamora
Choreographer: Isabel Rocamora
Artistic collaborator: Camila Valenzuela
Performer: Isabel Rocamora
Cameras: Rick Clark, Isabel Rocamora
Editing/ sound: Darren Johnston
Programmers: Chris Fayers, Joshua Portway, Stan Wijnans
Neuroscientists in conversation: Daniel Glaser, Morten Kringelback
Duration: 30 '
Format: live body; motion capture; Dv Cam
Year of Production: 2003
Assistant producer: Finn Ross
Produced by: Infinito Productions
Commissioned by: dance.tech, future physical
Funded by: Arts Council England, Dance East