Memory Vessels

Studio Description

Andrew Todd Marcus

“While all old people have been young, no young people have been old, and this troubling fact engenders the frustration of all parents and elders, which is that while you can describe your experience, you cannot confer it.”
                                                                                        ― Andrew Solomon

“All we have to believe is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted.”          
                                                                                       ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” 
                                                                                       ― Virginia Woolf

Our memories, existing as a combination of narrative and sense experiences, help form our identity. The story of our past -- lived, remembered, and told -- is the story of who we are and where we are going. In this studio students will explore memories and the senses that help define them in order to create devices to communicate and share formative personal stories of the past.

Students will first look inward to learn how to abstract ideas and engage the senses through exploration of their own stories. They will then collaborate with residents of Mt. Pleasant Home, an eldercare facility in Jamaica Plain, to help residents express and record their own stories. Students will then generate memory vessels for those stories that help communicate the depth, complexity, and lived experience of the residents’ lives.