MEMORY is an interactive exhibition of digital photography
by Martin Bricelj. It is documentary photography with a powerful
personal note, since the memory, a record of the moment, is
presented as a detail of the author's everyday view with a
strong graphic and abstract connotation. The key to understanding
is author's gaze, directed at graphic details of urban space.
The representation of abstract snapshots, stolen from the
author's hectic everyday, is unusual. Instead of hanging framed
images on the gallery wall, they are available through an
interactive game. The connecting link between chaotic multiplicity
of everyday moments and sought continuity is MEMORY. Hence
the exhibition adopts the form of a known game, MEMORY.
Gallery placement of the interactive photo exhibition Memory
is conceived as a surface projection on a flat horizontal
table. Using an appropriate interface, the visitor/participant
can influence the sensors by touching them. The sensors react
witha flipping of the play tablets – photographs. The aim
of the game is to pair exhibited photos as soon as possible.
By swiftly scrolling through these abstract details, we approach
Bricelj's view of the world.
Gallery placement is an innovative way of communication between
author and visitors, spectators-players. This can be experienced
at the very entrance, where the visitor has no choice but
to make a decision. Instead of being passive, a spectator
can become an active player by choosing to participate in
a game. It is in this way, that Martin Bricelj places his
latest, seemingly playful interactive project Memory, among
his earlier, more socially-critical projects.
The exhibition catalogue is just as unique, since it is designed
as a cardboard box of the game Memory, containing his photographs
as play tablets, while the introductory text takes the form
of user's guide.
Project Memory is also an interactive web game, available
on a web address www.memoryplay.com.
It is available in a single or multi player version, which
allows an online competition. Players can upload their own
photos and play the Memory game using them. Through these
uploads, the web page will change and become a group exhibition
of various photographers.
Skuč Gallery, Ljubljana, June 2004
MARTIN BRICELJ: MEMORY
text by Marina Gržinić
Martin Bricelj is a multi-faceted designer, artist and networking
professional of the contemporary art scene and DJ-VJ motivated
groups in Ljubljana. He aims to produce, display and develop
all kinds of urban-radicalised and art-design projects (editorial
illustrations, publishing, advertising, packaging layouts,
logos, flyers, newsletters, books, 4C printing, Web design)
with which he aims to fight the copyright protection of technology
and purely commercial digital contents.
Martin Bricelj is a kind of consortium, as he also functions
within an enterprise-cultural association, which has the objective
to work together with other groups and individuals on topics
common to urbanity: access, the media hype, lack of political
consciousness among citizens, lack of radical statements.
He is a computer-based contemporary consortium that relates
to projects that question public involvement and the mobility
of activist’s spaces. Bricelj focuses on the interface between
popular culture and technology underlying the social aspect
of an artwork rather than simply developing technology for
Technology is not neutral and the medium is not the message.
Values are even inherent to hardware design tools as well
as to software which today constitutes a political statement.
Are you a PC addict or (ex-) Linux follower?
Memory by Martin Bricelj
is an interactive digitalized game with photography for enhancement
of urban life that seems to survive happily today without
memory. Pre-recorded urban photographs by Martin Bricelj (and
on the Internet also by different users), re-edited and displayed
as simple children games, are used to test our speed and eye
tracking of visual data. Bricelj recorded a set of snapshot
images and gave us the chance to rewind and replay them in
the gallery space or on the Internet. Memory,
the game, involves some fast photographic actions and some
precarious shooting situations.
Memory is all about
photography, but has nothing to do with camera angles and
lenses. It has everything to do with file formats, memory
cards, storage devices and storage strategies. On the web,
Memory depends directly
on our future inputs on Bricelj’s project. Memory
as a game continues to increase the interpretative size and
usage of photo images; their meaning depends also on our ability
to play the game. Memory
is about visual images and the role they play in construction
and negotiation of self, the Other and the space.
The game activates four elements: radius, direction, speed,
Radius: everybody from children to seniors can play the game.
Direction: it can be played in the gallery space and on the
Internet. Speed is of crucial importance; speed is a technique
with which to attain a high-ranking position in the game.
Speed tests the user’s process of fast memorization, the skills
of reactions and a precondition for certain generations to
deal with new media and technology.
Time is a twofold category. In the gallery, it is limited;
on the Internet timeless.
The available time for playing the game Memory
can be a day, a week or several months and it changes according
to the possibility of access to the photographs in the gallery
or on the Internet, transforming them into personal, mechanical,
temporal and environmental archives. The photographs that
are stored and with which we play and access
Memory are therefore "archival memories".
Memory is an easy
interactive game that allows the user to interpret or rather
to (re)play memory. Memory in Memory
functions as a device with which data can be repeatedly re-memorized
so that it is not lost when the computer is turned off. Memory
does not require a battery backup! When users switch their
computers off, memory always-already waits! The photographs
are stored on various recording media, but only online can
they be accessed each time they are requested.
Even more, we can say that photographs within
Memory become popular-personal-political icons (PPPI)
as they are transformed into space markers displaying memory
as a sort of map.
The game raises questions of relations between technology
and popular culture. Instead of a simple influence between
them it is possible to ask does technology drive popular culture,
and how much popular culture affects new media technology?
What is “educational” about video games, “zines,”
and computers? In order to draw attention to these questions,
Bricelj uses a variety of cultural frameworks: low technologies,
popular culture hypes and playing digitalized photography
against memory. All these different forms, however, can easily
be understood by different users.
how [critical] memory works and how photography can be used
to integrate personal, social, and professional aspects of
our lives. In short, Memory
by Bricelj is a sort of Jukebox that instead of music stores,
manages, and plays back photographs.
With Memory we learn
that memory is a trickster.