This interactive video foregrounds the human impulse to collect objects, and to imbue these collected things with personal meaning. Literally, a heap of objects belonging to local Houstonians – items that people value and keep for various reasons – accumulates or vanishes. Accompanying audio narratives relating to the special meanings these objects have for their owners are wound and rewound based on the viewer’s motion and proximity to the piece. When the viewer approaches, objects and stories build up; when the viewer retreats – or stands unwaveringly still – time flows backwards and the amassed collection disappears. Time, narrative and movement are conflated, and gallery visitors can literally “scrub” the work: using their bodies as an instrument to conduct the flow of time, as well as the stockpiling of material objects and their associated memories.
Lina Dib is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Rice University and an affiliate artist-researcher at the Topological Media Lab. Situated at the intersection of anthropology, contemporary art, and the social study of science, her work concentrates on the research and development of prototypical recording devices, sensors, and personal archival technologies. Dib investigates how we build architectures for memory, structures in which to collect and organize knowledge and information about our pasts. Throughout, the design of recording devices is a question rather than an end, a means to elaborate on social, ontological and ethical issues. Building on her collaboration with the Topological Media Lab in Montreal, she furthers her research into time, memory and affect, creating installations predicated on an unconventional use of participatory audiovisual media. She has received grants and awards from the Canadian Humanities and Social Science Research Council, the European AMIDA training program, and the Humanities Research Center. Her most recent show, “Sounds for Stairs,” at Box13 ArtSpace in Houston (2010), transformed the gallery’s staircase into an evocative interactive soundscape. Dib’s compositions range from the ethnographic to the experimental and have been shown in Montreal, New York, San Francisco and Houston.
Programming for Recantorium by JS Rousseau
Rousseau is an artist-designer-programmer in the field of new media. He holds a degree in Computation Arts from Concordia University. Recently, he has been working at the Topological Media Lab, ESKI Studio and the Society for Arts and Technologies, as a researcher, affiliate programmer and designer.