Identities and Meanings
Memory – Perfection, Sound/Silence
I am beginning to realise the idea of ‘perfection’ in my works. It is because of the phenomenon of ‘memory and memorial’, ideas of ‘perfection’ marry perfectly as we strive not only to obtain memories so perfect they are a joy to behold (we hope that our futures hold perfection, to what other standard should we live our lives?) we hope that we will remember everything ‘perfectly’ that we will never forget the finest detail of the most joyous moment. To forget would be a tragedy?
Perfection is what we hope our minds will become what we can hope our souls and bodies to obtain, through practice and discipline, perfection is a benchmark, an invisible and inconceivable state of being that engages us with unimaginable happiness through sense of achievement.
People often say ‘there is no such thing as perfection’. Why bother, you will only be disappointed.
‘Nobody is perfect’, nothing is perfect. Perfection is a sacred entity (something that does not exist physically). Is it achievable? Is it wisdom? Is it attainable? Is it a goal? Is it a place? Is it a thing? Is it a feeling? Is it a fantasy? Is it madness?
People say ‘god is perfect’ or ‘Jesus was perfect’ or ‘Water is perfect’, or death is perfect or love is perfect or gold is perfect' or a diamond is perfect, or babies are perfect' it is a personal ideal, almost everyone will say it is something different according to values and perhaps knowledge.
But I feel that the memory is something that should attain to perfection. To obtain the perfect memory, other things are required, such as sobriety, health, discipline, a good heart, love, youth?
Health and memory lie also very closely.
To have no memories whatsoever is unimaginable.
Does a baby have a memory?
Does a butterfly have a memory? Can it remember being a caterpillar?
Back to perfection.
Can something unintelligent be perfect? Is a tree perfect? What value does perfection posses?
I feel my works are presented and constructed in an ‘idealise’ style. In that everything is primed white and an attempt has been made to make everything appear ‘perfect’, there is not much experimentation evident, it all seems planned and precise. I feel this presentation contributes to the idea of the ‘perfect memory’. That everything is in order and neat contributes to the ‘tidying of the mind’ that allows it to think clearly and freely without distraction. It is quite minimalist.
I am not sure of the value of this presentation other than the discipline of tidiness and control. I hope this contributes to the temporal.
Ideas of memory in terms of taste, smell, feel, body, sound are brought forward. The mirrored buttercups evoke childhood memories of the body, as well perhaps of smell.
The whirring of the fan in the slide projector contribute towards memories of sound.
The memory of sound is a new development. I am fascinated by the idea of silence as a memory. This silence could be a memory of lonliness or a memory of tranquility and peace.
There is much to research on this subject and I would like to make works that encapsulate the silence of place. The final work installed in the exhibition holds for me possibilities of this, it is a device, an intestinal device that recreates the memory of sound from a sacred space such as a temple or church, the memory of prayer is similar to a memory of thought.
The materials I am interested in is wire particularly, that its properties are condusive to that of receiving vibrations. The body experiences moments of silence, but is continually receiving vibrations. I would like to understand further this science. John Cage says ‘there is no silence’.
The vertical wooden sculpture titled ‘Chamber’ acts as a transducer, like a loudspeaker that could convert radio waves into audible vibrations. There is a church in Nottinghill whose 500 year old organ is in repair. There is a large dusty enigmatic space left and I am interested in attempting to install some works such as ‘Chamber’ in the temporary space, a ‘soundscape’ perhaps.
I might become a ‘noise musician’, or a ‘noise artist’. I enjoy the idea of sound underwater also. Chris Watson is a ‘sound recordist’ and travels the world seeking spaces that offer transcendental sound qualities such as coniferous forests where surprisingly the sound quality has much character. He talks of ‘quiet and tranquility’, and says the difference between the two is ‘clarity and depth.
He talks of an experience inside an anechoic chamber (a manufactured space that receives no sound). His senses ran amok, his brain searching for clues for orientation. 'Chamber’ I feel comments on this report. Watson spoke of a ‘pressure around his head’, which is why ‘Chamber’ is supposed to be ‘head height’.
It is the ‘atmosphere’ of a place that I am interested in relation to sound. It is this atmosphere that we tend to ‘remember’, and in many different ways, we attempt to recreate this ‘atmosphere’ within our own environments. This I feel speaks alot about how we use sound to relate to eachother and to the world. I may retitle the work ‘The Sound of the Mountain’. I hope that works become this profound. I hope to orientate my developments between ‘sound and silence’ in relation to memory.
I am very happy to be working on this ‘sound’ project as I have a long history of hearing problems, and have had very many operations on my ears. I have a great emotional response to what I hear as a result, and see a great importance on the use of language and sound manipulation.
The flickering of the animations I hope also to trigger momentum of thought, that provide a sort of metronome to the viewing experience, rhythms within the space will attain attention and newness of experience allowing the viewer to separate himself from the outside world and be drawn into the space as a landscape of language for understanding and connection and sensation for physical and mental engagement.
Presentation has been important. It is my weakest ability. I am actually a very messy person. I have deep personal issues with tidiness. I am compelled to create mess.
I was once obsessively tidy. I did not want to give myself ‘away’ through any belonging ‘out of place’. Being tidy was my way of enacting a ‘privacy’, there was nothing that could be found, nothing that could be assumed from any object being left around.
My tidiness was a language of silence and secrecy. Mess were words that I did not want to share. One day I was confused and needed to ‘mess up’ my room in order to reveal the source of a problem. I expressed myself with clothes all over the room. There were clothes everywhere, I was about to ‘read’ the mess, every letter, every word. But before I had the chance my mother entered. I watched her eyes scan the floor, every sock, every dress, every shoe, she had never seen this before and I could tell by her widened eyes and silence that it had impacted. ‘What is going on here, why haven’t you tidied up’, she wasn’t meant to see it, it wasn’t complete or ready for viewing, it felt like an artwork.
She did not understand what it said, but knew that it said something. I tidied up and the work was lost. The mess I make nowadays is not profound or organised like that mess. The mess I make now is chaos, crisis, gobbledegook, it is a continual attempt to remake that exact same mess.
I don’t understand the mess any more. It is still lost to me. Perhaps one day I will find a sock on the floor and remember what it means. I long for that day. So I continue everyday trying, and everyday my clothes get strewn with all my heart and soul back onto the floor.