Mémoire vive

Art Souterrain, Tour de la Bourse. 2013

Thanks to the Internet and search engines, it seems that knowledge no longer needs to be memorized, constituting us by that very fact. Rather, it is outside of us, accessible by the touch of a finger. It’s as though we have becomemore and more like blank slates, conduitsrather than containers of knowledge. The link, the organizing unit of the vast system of information distribution that is hypertext, allows us to shift rapidly from one item to another, one page to another, closing in on, or often moving away from our subject, suddenly creating a maze-like circuit.
Structured around the idea of the page and hyperlinks, the installation Mémoire vive consists of 14 words or phrases written in three colours of neon tubing (white, pale blue, and a more pronounced blue like that of the hyperlink). Luminous signs of the same colour are joined together and the light emanating from each group of signs is controlled separately to create a rhythmic effect on the wall’s surface, and to provide pauses, blackouts, and spurts of activity. The connecting cables are visible, making evident the substantial technology supporting the system.
The asynchronous movements that animate the neon tubes frequently generate new groupings composed bythe words that are light or dark, making for a variety of readings.My choice of words and the movements that enliven them allowed me, beyond the initial critiqueof the impact of technology on knowledge and memory, to create a very personal and local snapshot of our society.