Jen Southern & Rebecca Birch
In this installation piece, I continue to explore the nature of memory and age. After spending time with dementia patients at a local residential home, I began to understand better the way in which memory begins to become fragmented over time; certain parts of a memory are very clear whilst other aspects are lost completely.
It is the same in all human minds, but the amount of memory that becomes lost or disordered only becomes more prevalent with age. In terms of entropy, there are many researchers (including Skarda and Freeman, 1987) who believe that chaotic background behaviour in the mind is necessary for the brain to engage in continual learning. However, entropy is constantly increasing; can this then become a detriment to the mind with age?
The walls have been lined with books covered in a cracking, brittle plaster that will slowly reveal more of the pages and fragments of sentences. The piece changes and develops over time; it will slowly dry, crack and fall. The viewer may watch from the chair and notice nothing change, because the process is slow, reflecting the deterioration of the mind itself. The viewer may also notice a fragment drop and reveal something otherwise unnoticed, like a recollection. The disordering and jumbling of sentences within the piece are symbolic of the way in which memory increases entropically. I want this space to be an object of encounter that facilitates a sense of recollection and a sense of tranquillity simultaneously.