The Method of Loci
“Method of Loci” is a multi-channel video installation using Max MSP Jitter, motion sensors and Arduino to create an interactive, ever shifting environment of moving images, architecture and sculpture. Shadows will create a physical analogue for the “inner architecture” of dreams and memory. The project is rooted in “Ars Memoriae,” a mental system that allowed the ancients to create epics, before writing was invented. Its practitioners built a mental place such as a house or garden and stored memories within its imaginary spaces. Recently there has been a revival of interest in the “Ars” by computer engineers studying memory. Like the inner architecture of the “Ars Memoriae,”The Method of Loci is comprised of passageways, alcoves, rooms, hidden peepholes and niches. As viewers explore the space the mood and scale changes constantly. Video projected onto translucent vellum walls animates some spaces. At times viewers find themselves moving along a darkened corridor towards a tiny lighted video niche. Other times the corridor opens out into a monumental space with epically scaled projections. Programming in Max MSP Jitter and using Arduino, allows the projections to respond differently to the presence of an attentive viewer than to a hurried passerby. As more attention is given, more layers of time are revealed. The ancients found that the more dramatic the image the more lasting the memory. Years of the artist’s own field recording and recent work commissioned from dancer/choreographer Linda Johnson form an archive of dramatic loops that mix and remix and are placed strategically in the different spaces of the multi chambered space. Thus the journey through becomes a kind of narrative with open ended and shifting meaning, as viewers of The Method of Loci explore a layered and constantly changing environment. The Method of Loci investigates ideas that have driven Western culture for millennia using cutting edge 21st century technologies.