ROCKFLUID— Shaping memory in transit is based on a collaboration between artist Elena Cologni and Psychologist Dr Lisa Saksida, Department of Experimental Psychology, Cambridge University. Memory, perception and place are the elements around which the project is built, also by considering “Travelling as a way to produce forms". In the project, memory is considered in its 'fluid' and 'solid' states, as Dr Saksida suggests referring to the recollection of events. Memory in its archival state would be solid, and, when in the process of resurfacing would be fluid.
In this sense this transitional quality of memory can be a metaphor of Cologni's way of working, as she considers art in a similar way, neither only matter related, nor only ephemeral: its manifestations can vary and feed into each other. On of the questions the project investigates is: How does technology effect our perception and memorisation of place? Thsi is dealt with through activities highlighting similarities and differences between our mnemonic archive and a database, through a journey intersecting psychology, geometry, performance and sculpture. The current alienation of the individual induced by a technology dominant economy is based on an urge to cut the distance over time and space in today‟s communication systems. The artistic manifestations of the project attempt to create possibilities for encounters in shared physical spaces where we experience the environment through moving our body/mind in space thus regaining and defining our places (psycho-geography,relational tactics). The work produced interrogates for example on how digital time has influenced our sense of subjective time. This will be done by breaking the accepted relation memory-past and focus on the present moment of recollection. With the current obsession over constantly documenting our lives, we may feel (and fear) that we cannot do the same with memory. By proposing that we do change our memories in the present by recollecting them, we may find in this very quality of instability of memory our ‘place’.
Artist Elena Cologni and Scientist Lisa Saksida have had a year long collaboration for this awarded project which explores the ‘materiality’ and ‘spatiality’ of memory through psychological and artistic tools. This collaboration, starting from shared issues in similar context, aims at attempting an exchange between Art and Neuro-Psychology based on the status of objects, time and space embodiment.
The project is awarded Grants for the Arts, Arts Council of England, within the Escalator Programme through Colchester Arts Centre, and is supported by Wysing Arts Centre and the University of Cambridge.