About Memory Landscapes

People had been telling me for some time  that I should write a memoir. My long life has been created by and has helped to create the art and activism of my times. As a visual artist, I wasn't interested in a written memoir.  But in thinking about memory and how it works for me, I realized that I wanted to create a visual memoir of my life.

I have always been a popular culture and social change artist, which is why I've made books.  When the iPad was first released, I realized that for the first time everybody could have original art. My images are shot for the iPad with a Nikon D610. Everything is done in-camera, and the images are direct and unmanipulated. I create each picture for the iPad's screen size, back lighting, and very high quality photographic detail. My image is shown identically on all iPads.

I started thinking about memory, and how what is remarkable is not how much we forget, but how much we remember.  I realized that my memories are not linear – because “inside the head everything happens at once.” (Penelope Lively)  Linear narrative is a useful construct, but it's not how we actually remember.  I want to re-engage with the memories of my life, to create an autobiographical visual memoir, to express the poetics of non-linear time.

Memories are filtered, by who we are now, who we were then, and what has happened in between.  We view our past through layers of memories, and the past is everything that happened except this moment.

I made the first images as a way of visualizing my memories, of capturing moments in time.  Not mythic moments, but images constructed from carefully chosen real objects, some only for aesthetics, many relics from my life through time. Objects are arranged and contexted to express narratives that are autobiographical slices of my life.

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