Project Proposal

Throughout my current work, my goals are to find an appropriate combination of my desire to make hyper-logical arguments (often in the form of jokes) and to illustrate a reverent awe at the subtlety of spatial perception. I believe one of the utilities of art is to make room in our sub-intellectual minds for the acceptance of the “non-discursive” – of something that we cannot reason but still feel. My own natural leaning is toward a more rational system of making meanings in art: sets of rules and a delight in puns. In an attempt to balance these two compulsions, I’ve gone through many subjects and mediums and settled on the one I find most encompassing.

John Locke made the claim that the only way we can know reality is through our experiences, and that the only way we could know our experiences is through our memory. Memory is the nexus through which one can relate the material and immaterial world, the physical and the chemical, the cognitive and behavioral, all in an attempt to understand reality. I’ve found that when I say the word “memory,” I wish to call to mind the whole host of its possible connotative and denotative meanings. My project is an exploration of memory as a “puncept”(“pun+concept”)- a term coined by Electronic Languages professor Gregory Ulmer to indicate the use of a grammatical pun to create a concept pun. This has led me to talk about a diverse array of subjects such as: an increase in digital prosthetic memory and its’ implications for physical “trace” memory (like celluloid film), archives as loci of power and the effects of that power on its subjects, the perceived ephemerality of our memories despite the very tangible architecture formed by the neurological consolidation of memory.

These interests have ranged across and taken hold of every medium I work in – each medium is suited for particular facets of memory. I use sculpture to explore the tactility of memory trace and the non-discursive spatial memory, with forms inspired by rhizomatic concept maps, neural memory containers, and the viral spread of ideas. I use film to discuss cultural prosthetic memory and the malleability of personal narrative, with a focus on the distortion caused by repeated recall. I use text to focus my scholarly research into directly communicable forms.
This semester I will combine semi-raw versions of media from each of these forms into a virtual reality piece at the DiVE (Duke immersive Virtual Environment). Taking from my thesis work of last semester, I will be exploring most explicitly the Cognitivie-Chemical connection in my Memory Mind Map (mindMapWeb), while investigating the possibilities of interactivity and bodily perception of data in my project at the DiVE. To develop a full understanding of my approach to the DiVE project, one should consult the full project proposal here: DiVEproposal, and take a look at the supplemental materials here.

I am in the process of organizing with the David Zielinsky at the DiVE on interface concerns and I’d like to pursue more readings on examples of Virtual Reality art projects. We talked quite a bit about the added value of designing interaction after being part of the space. I would like to spend more time considering the interaction and organization of the media than working on content. I will start with explorations of Pask’s work and the response to Pask exhibition called “Pask Present.” Just as Pask’s cybernetic systems learned, I’d like to teach a system to forget, and ask how we would interact with these cybernetic systems.

Boring, Edwin G. 1933. The Physical Dimensions of Consciousness. New York: Dover.

Clark, A., 1997. Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press

DeHaene, Stanislas & Lionel Naccache (2001). Toward a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: basic evidence and a workspace framework. Cognition 79: 1-37.

Edelman, Gerald M. & Tononi, G. (2000). A universe of consciousness. How matter become imagination. New York: Basic Books.

John, E. R. 1967. Mechanisms of Memory. New York: Wiley.

John, E. R. 1972. Switchboard vs. statistical theories of learning and memory. Science 177 : 850-864.

John, E.R. (2000). Consciousness & Cognition 10. 2.

Kurzweil, R. 1999. The Age Of Spiritual Machines. Cambridge: MIT Press

Lorenz, K. 1977. Behind the Mirror: A Search for a Natural History of Human Knowledge, New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Translated by Ronald Taylor

Pitts, Walter, and Warren S. McCulloch. 1965. How we know universals: the perception of auditory and visual forms (1947). In Embodiments of Mind. Edited by W. S. McCulloch. 46-66. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Rössler, Otto E. 1998.  Endophysics: The World as Interface.  Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.

User Interface Summary:

•    connecting links appeared
Media Display:
•    node grows four times in size
•    interior color of the nodes becomes black
•    display window will appear
o    display window will appear in front of the Folded Hexagon node
o    front (as oriented to the user) of the Neural Pod will open
♣    window will appear within the Pod
•    the node is selected
o    user can move to a different location
o    user can adjust angle of node face by selecting and twisting their wrist
♣    (according to capacity of ribbon sculpting)
•    the default for looper is to play
o    user can toggle off
•    after 10 loops, looper will play on the nearest available wall
•    after looping media shifts to walls, it will play for no more than 20 loops
•    wall media appears on a rotating basis
•    connector nodes only appear when a connecting node is selected
o    user can toggle connector to be always apparent


About Sarah Goetz
By day, I teach Wired! Workshops, builds responsive websites, and creates work for the Link Media Wall at Duke University. By night, I am an artist who makes sewn paper installations, experimental films, and abstract watercolor paintings. I have the passion of an artist and the humor of a web designer, and I am soon to take over the world, or at least your vision of it

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