Method of Loci by Fernanda D’Agostino

Fernanda D’Agostino was one of CYBERFEST 2012 notable participants with “Pool” an immersive video installation. Her recent project is an example of how an installation work draws on different disciplines for its impact. The Method of Loci, takes the ancient system “Ars Memoriae” as the inspiration to create an interactive environment about memory. D’Agostino’s interest in creating a physical analogy for memory began with the study of Giulio Camillo’s Theater of Memory, famous during the Renaissance but an ephemeral work now faded from public awareness. That interest is paralleled by a recent revival of interest in “Ars Memoriae” among computer engineers studying memory. The portable walls of the Gym and specially fabricated dual sided screen walls were used to divide the gallery into several distinct spaces that flowed into each other. As viewers moved through darkened corridors into a series of rooms with various-scaled projections, the mood and scale changed. Programming in Max MSP Jitter and Arduino allowed the projections to respond differently to the presence of an attentive viewer than to a hurried passerby. As more attention was given, more layers of time were revealed. Some viewers spent hours exploring the space, reading the texts, climbing into a “life Giard’s chair” for a different vantage point in one room, or listening to a recorded voice on an old fashioned dial telephone in another. The ancients found that the more dramatic the image the more lasting the memory. The imagery chosen for The Method of Loci imagery underscored the dramatic albeit fragile and flickering qualities of memory and reality.

This version of the installation video documentation gives a more complete look at the overall installation, while the video is a bit more abbreviated:

Method of Loci – Installation Version from Fernanda D’Agostino on Vimeo.

Underwater recordings, ancient texts, centuries old fire rituals in the Italian countryside, faces in attitudes of contemplation, migrating cranes, and a burning house are examples of the dreamlike imagery of “The Method of Loci.” The Method of Loci investigates ideas that have driven Western culture for millennia using cutting-edge 21st century technologies.

 


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