THE MEMORY BOOTH
an interactive body-memory installation

The core of the Memory Booth installation revolves around an archive of video registrations of traditional dance forms. The installation has an interactive input interface, the Booth, and an output exhibition in another, public, space. When a user enters the Memory booth, he/she is welcomed by a screen that invites him/her to imitate a series of movements. Each time a countdown commences and the user will have to perform the movement. At the end of the game the user is asked to perform the whole series of movements in one dance and this series is recorded by a camera. This last performance is not an imitation from an on-screen video, but from (embodied) memory. Each new dance is consequently saved in the computer database. All series are projected on the walls of a separate publicly accessible space in tandem with the original archival videos, forming a constantly expanding exhibition.

The Memory Booth draws elements from three memory stimulating devices: the photo booth,the game ‘memory’ and Giulio Camillo’s ‘theatre of memory’. The aim of the project is to explore how technology and performance can interact in the process of remembering, specifically how performance functions as mnemonic device aided by technology. The installation serves as a venue and happening that allows both the creators and the users to explore the workings of personal embodied memory in relation to database storage and the performing of an archive, vis-à-vis the body as database.

[Original Archival Footage Courtesy of the Tropentheater Amsterdam]